A man accused of stabbing a jogger to death while she was exercising in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., last year pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Friday and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Anthony Crawford, 23, received five years’ probation in addition to his jail sentence for the murder of 35-year-old Wendy Martinez, according to Fox 5 DC.
Prosecutors said Crawford stole a kitchen knife from a grocery store and attacked Martinez while she was out for an evening jog on Sept. 18, 2018. Martinez, who had gotten engaged a week earlier, was stabbed seven times in the head, neck and back.
After the attack, Martinez staggered into a nearby Chinese restaurant before collapsing as patrons tried to help her. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Police have said the attack appeared to have been random. Court records show Crawford has a history of mental illness and drug use.
“The monster is not Crawford, the monster is his schizophrenia,” his lawyers said Friday.
The very same month her daughter was murdered, Martinez’s mother, Cora, made a similar statement of forgiveness. “I want to say that I have forgiven,” the grieving mother said. “My heart has been broken in a thousand pieces, but I forgive the man because I know it wasn’t him. It was somebody else. It was evil.”