] The man charged with killing a woman as she ran through the Logan Circle neighborhood in the fall of last year, pleaded guilty to Friday's first-degree murder as part of a prosecution agreement will send him to prison for at least 30 years.
Anthony Marquell Crawford was arrested in a park where he visited a mile north, where Wendy Martinez was attacked the night of September 18th in the 1400th street of 11th Street NW, near O Street. She staggered in a nearby Chinese American restaurant where patrons tried to save her life.
Police described the attack as random. Martinez, 35, who was recently engaged and worked for a tech firm, was stacked seven times in the face, neck and back.
After Friday's hearing in DC Superior Court, her fiance Daniel Hincapie stopped in a toilet to splash water on his face. "It was a very busy moment," he said, hearing the details of the attack.
Hincapie said while he was relieved that Crawford would be off the street for decades, he said "it won't bring Wendy back."  "It's a mix of sadness and relief," he said.
The attack took the country's capital, which gave rise to security problems among runners, especially women who run alone. Hincapie and several of Martinez's family and friends established the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project, a foundation that promotes security for female runners and women's role in technology.
Martinez – who worked at Fiscal Note, a district-based management and technology agency – ran daily and participated in six marathons. She graduated from Georgetown University with a Latin American study artist in 2012 and received a internship at Capitol Hill with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.).
While Crawford, 23, admitted the murder, there is still no answer as to why he was attacking.
The pledge agreement was announced during a hearing where Judge Craig Iscoe had planned to interview Crawford to determine whether he was competent to dismiss an answer. Instead, Crawford decided to plead guilty.
Court records show that Crawford had a history of mental illness and has used synthetic drugs that can cause delusions and horrible behavior.
On Friday hearing, Eugene Ohm, Crawford's public defense, reminded his client that his client had tested negative for PCP and K2 after his arrest. But the authorities said he tested positive for cocaine.
If Crawford was found guilty during the trial, he would have been exposed to life in prison without parole.
The attack took place just before. Martinez was out on her regular run. The busy, gentrified neighborhood was full of other joggers, dog walkers, and people strolling to and from local restaurants just outside Logan Circle.
A witness told the detective, which the attacker muttered inconsistently, the authorities have said.
On a November court hearing, a murder detective testified that DNA belonging to both Crawford and Martinez was found on a knife with a 5½-inch knife that witnesses say they saw the attacker discarded when he escaped the scene.
The detective testified that Crawford was arrested after several people who know him, contacted the authorities after seeing media reports involving surveillance video published by the police of the person they believed was the attacker as part of an extended effort by DC police to find Martinez's killer.
The authorities decided Crawford himself during the attack and trailed blood in about six blocks. When Crawford was placed, he had several bandages on his right hand. His blood matched the blood found nearby where Martinez was attacked.
Crawford is scheduled to be sentenced on September 13. The Nursing Act also requires him to be released for five years after his 30-year sentence is completed.
Before accepting Crawford's guilty peace on Friday, Iscoe Crawford asked a number of questions where he admitted stealing a kitchen knife from a Giant supermarket just a few blocks from the attack. Iscoe's question was also a way for the judge to make sure that Crawford understood the crime he was guilty of.
"Did you use that knife to repeatedly throw Mrs Martinez," Iscoe asked.
"Yes," Crawford replied in a strong, clear voice.
"Have you discarded the knife and your sweater afterwards?" said the judge.
"Yes," he said.
"Were you in self defense" the judge asked.
"No," he replied.
"So how do you claim, guilty or not guilty," the judge said.
"Guilty," replied Crawford.
The nursing agreement seemed to take over some of Crawford's family members. Two family members gasped and put their heads in their hands, the judge read that Crawford gave his right to DNA testing, and agreed not to go to court with a mental answer. They got up and left the courtroom before the end of the hearing. The defendant mother remained.
Crawford's lawyer made two requests from the judge. Ohm prayed that Crawford was sent to St. Elizabeth's, the district's psychiatric hospital, until he was sentenced. Ohm said he would make sure Crawford maintained his medication and treatments and said he was worried that it wouldn't happen in prison. Iscoe refused the request.
"Mr. Crawford is clearly competent and was quite focused. I see no basis at this time to commit him to St. Elizabeth's," Iscoe said.
Ohm made an unusual petition and asked Iscoe to give Crawford's mother the opportunity to step out of the audience and spend approx. 30 seconds with her son. Ohm said Crawford's mother had not seen his son since he was arrested.
Assistant American lawyer Katie Earnest immediately opposed the meeting. "Miss Martinez's family will never have 30 seconds with their loved one," she said. Iscoe, who also cites the security concerns the marshals indicated to him, such a meeting could constitute the refusal.
After the hearing, Crawford's mother and other relatives refused to comment.