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YOUNGSTOWN Shooting wasn't planned, ex-wife says at sentencing



Published: Sat, September 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The woman was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and placed on probation.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Pumping five bullets into her ex-husband as he lay in her bed seemed like the right thing to do at the time, Addie Crawley told a judge Friday.

She said Benjamin Holmes had threatened and harassed her to the point that she was driven to pull the trigger.

"It wasn't anything that I had planned," Crawley told Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. "I did what I thought was best for me and my family."

Holmes, though, said his 51-year-old former wife shot him to conceal the fact that she had recently married another man, James Crawley.

"She thought she had found a man with money. That's what this was all about," Holmes said.

What judge said: Judge Evans said it's clear that one of them "perpetrated a fraud on society," though it's unclear which one did it. Then he sentenced Crawley to three years' probation. She must serve the first 45 days in the county jail and pay a $1,000 fine.

If she violates terms of her probation, the judge said he'll sentence her to 18 months in prison.

Judge Evans said Crawley should not have picked up a gun and taken matters into her own hands.

"No matter how good your character is and how often you go to church, you can't do that in our society," he said.

He was referring to testimony by two of Crawley's church pastors and her supervisor at Delphi Packard, who all spoke of her good character and integrity.

Crawley pleaded guilty in August to one count of aggravated assault for shooting Holmes last year at her former home on Coronado Avenue.

Background: Holmes had left the area some 20 years ago to avoid prosecution for aggravated arson charges in Trumbull County. Crawley had him declared legally dead 12 years ago, which also ended their marriage.

Crawley told police after the shooting that Holmes had appeared at her home four days earlier, demanding that she give him half of everything she owned. His threats and demands are what drove her to shoot him, she said.

Ex-husband's side: But Holmes said Crawley always knew where he was and that he was alive. He was back in the area and had been living with her since 1999, he said.

Crawley and Gentile tried to use his past as justification for her shooting him "like a dog as I slept in my bed after a night of passionate sex," Holmes said, noting that he still has bullets lodged in his liver and a kidney.

bjackson@vindy.com




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