Suspect Ruled Competent to Stand Trial in Killing of DC Jogger - NBC New York
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Suspect Ruled Competent to Stand Trial in Killing of DC Jogger

Wendy Martinez, 35, was jogging when she was fatally stabbed just before 8 p.m., police have said

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    Suspect in Jogger's Death Deemed Competent to Stand Trial

    A 23-year-old suspect in the fatal stabbing of jogger Wendy Martinez was found competent to stand trial. Anthony Crawford is accused of fatally stabbing Wendy Martinez near Logan Circle on Sept. 18, 2018. (Published Friday, March 8, 2019)

    A judge has ruled the man accused of fatally stabbing a jogger in D.C. is now competent to stand trial, reversing an earlier ruling.

    A psychologist who analyzed the suspect, 23-year-old Anthony Crawford, found that he is competent, according to a report from the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). Crawford is accused of fatally stabbing Wendy Martinez near Logan Circle on Sept. 18, 2018.

    Martinez, 35, was jogging in the 1400 block of 11th Street NW when she was fatally stabbed just before 8 p.m., police have said. Crawford was arrested the following night and charged with first-degree murder while armed.

    In court Friday, the judge said Crawford is competent and there was "no reason to think he wouldn’t modulate his behavior" in court.

    Just last month, Crawford had been found not competent and the DBH recommended he undergo a full competency evaluation. Since then, the psychologist said, he was re-evaluated by medical staff and was diagnosed with psychosis and prescribed medication.

    Crawford said he has benefited from the medication and denied that he was hearing voices or experiencing paranoid thoughts, according to the document. It also indicated he said that he sometimes talks to himself but that he didn't think it was caused by auditory hallucinations.

    The report said Crawford understands the charge he is facing.

    The night that Martinez was slain, surveillance video captured Crawford inside a nearby Giant Food store just 20 minutes before the stabbing, a detective has said. Crawford was in the aisle where the same knife as the one found at the murder scene is sold, police said.

    More video from the street outside a nearby carryout restaurant showed Crawford stabbing Martinez in the back as she tried to run away, police have said.

    Martinez then staggered into the carryout and collapsed. Strangers rushed to her side, and the manager called 911, but Martinez died of her injuries a short time later. 

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    Police said they found the knife and the suspect's orange sweater just a few feet from where Martinez was stabbed. The knife had both Martinez's and Crawford's DNA on it, prosecutors have said.

    Authorities have said they had no information to suggest that the suspect and victim knew each other or had any interaction before the stabbing in one of D.C.'s most popular neighborhoods.

    "It looks like it was an unprovoked attack," Police Chief Peter Newsham said after Crawford's arrest.

    Martinez was an avid runner and a graduate of Georgetown University. She lived in an upscale apartment just three blocks from where she was killed. She had gotten engaged just a week before her death and had bought a wedding dress with her mother.