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The Register-Guard (OR)
By Josephine Woolington, The Register-Guard
May 16, 2014
Robert Allen Cromwell said he “just snapped” in the early morning hours of Nov. 2.
A few hours later, Cromwell told a Springfield police detective that he didn’t know how to put into words what he was feeling moments before killing his ex-fiancee, 26-year-old Casey Lynn Wright. A video of Cromwell’s two interviews with the detective was shown Thursday to a Lane County Circuit Court jury that is weighing whether Cromwell is guilty of murder.
Cromwell, then 32, said in the video that after Wright told him that night that she was seeing another man, he searched her cellphone after she fell asleep and found text messages from the man referenced by Wright as well as from another man. Cromwell then told Detective Don Myers in the video that he struck Wright four times in the head using an aluminum baseball bat while she was sleeping in the Springfield home that the two previously had shared.
Cromwell told Myers in the video that he didn’t want to wake Wright up. “I didn’t want her to see me doing it,” Cromwell said.
“We fell asleep on good terms,” Cromwell said. “I didn’t want her to picture me as a monster. If there is an afterlife, I didn’t want her to see me that way.” “I wish I hadn’t looked at her phone,” he said earlier in the interview.
Last week at a pretrial hearing, Cromwell’s attorney asked Judge Jodie Mooney to prevent prosecutors from sharing the incriminating videotaped statements with the jury.
Mooney denied that request, ruling that Cromwell had spoken voluntarily with Myers after being advised of his rights to remain silent and to legal counsel.
Cromwell is charged with murder and unlawful use of a weapon. If convicted, he would be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
The trial began Wednesday. Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman concluded his case on Thursday. Cromwell may testify today.
Jurors on Thursday also viewed crime scene and autopsy photos, and heard testimony from detectives, a hospital doctor and a medical examiner.
The first of the two interviews with Myers took place about 4 a.m. on Nov. 2, just hours after Wright’s death. Cromwell said in that first interview that he had planned a romantic evening with Wright, hoping the two could rekindle their relationship that had ended about two weeks earlier.
He took her out to dinner and sprinkled rose petals in the home, he said. Cromwell said it was a “huge betrayal” when he read text messages from the other men on Wright’s phone.
He said he had never tried to hurt anyone before. He said he had always thrown things as a way to take out aggression. “I don’t have violence in me,” he said.
Cromwell told Myers he tried to kill himself several years ago. He said he was taking antidepressants and sleeping pills at the time and suffered from nightmares.
He also said he believed he had a drinking problem, but that he was controlling it.
Cromwell said he didn’t plan to kill Wright and that he loved her. After he saw what he did, he said, he tried to kill himself by cutting his wrists. “I’m not very pleased with myself about it,” he told Myers of the attack on Wright.
“Would you take it back if you could?” Myers later asked him.
“You seem conflicted,” Myers said.
“I don’t know,” Cromwell said.