Trial begins for man charged with stabbing wife to death — (The News & Observer)

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The News & Observer

May 24, 1994 


DURHAM — Opening arguments are expected today in the murder trial of a man accused of stabbing his wife to death in their East Durham home in 1992, then botching a suicide attempt by downing pills and brake fluid.

Prosecutors contend Daryl Crawford plunged a filet knife into the chest of his wife, Jeannetta, 38, on Aug. 20, 1992, and then tried to poison himself by consuming a combination of brake fluid, antidepressants and muscle relaxers.

The couple’s three children were in the house at the time but apparently were asleep and didn’t witness the incident, authorities said. The oldest child, then 14, found his parents unconscious in their bed and called police.

When officers arrived at the couple’s home at 3013 Independence Ave., Mr. Crawford was barely alive, though he had no apparent injuries. A bloody knife was found near the bed.

Investigators said the couple had been having marital problems well before the stabbing and that Mrs. Crawford had left her husband at least three times. At the time of the slaying, Mr. Crawford worked as a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service in the downtown post office on Chapel Hill Street.

Shortly after his arrest, Mr. Crawford attempted suicide again and was hospitalized at Duke University Medical Center.

In another case, jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the robbery and kidnapping trial of Donnie June Jackson, who is accused of kidnapping a Raleigh woman and her four young nieces outside the Durham Athletic Park after a Bulls game in April.

Jackson, 21, of 1703 E. Main St. faces armed robbery and kidnapping charges in connection with the April 15 incident.

Police said the woman and her nieces left the game about 8:30 p.m. and were walking to their car when a man armed with a pistol approached. He asked the woman for a match and then asked for the time.

The man forced the woman and the children into their car. He ordered the woman to drive around Durham with the girls, ages 5 to 9, in the back seat. After about 30 minutes, he got out of the car and robbed the woman of $60.

Jackson was later charged in the incident. It won’t be his first appearance in a Durham courtroom. In November, he was sentenced to five years in prison for violating his probation in a separate case.

Jackson was given a five-year suspended sentence and was put on probation for drug possession in 1989. A judge revoked his probation and imposed the sentence after prosecutors said Jackson failed to pay court costs and had tested positive for cocaine use.

Record Number: RNOB183517
Copyright 1994 by The News & Observer Pub. Co.