Man Who Fatally Knifed D.C. Jogger In Random Attack Gets 30 Years

Newly engaged Wendy Martinez was out for an evening jog last September when Anthony Crawford attacked her out of nowhere.

By Eric Shorey

Last September, a man in Washington D.C. inexplicably attacked a jogger with a knife. Now, a year later, he has been slapped with a decades-long sentence for the crime.

Anthony Crawford, 23, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty in June to first-degree murder for stabbing Wendy Martinez to death on Sept.18, 2018 while she was out for a run.

Martinez was stabbed multiple times in the Logan Circle area at around 8 p.m. that evening, eventually staggering into a nearby restaurant, heavily bleeding and begging for help, according to NBC News. She died in a hospital shortly thereafter.

Crawford was tracked down through a combination of tips from the public and surveillance footage of the incident. He reportedly injured his hand while resisting arrest.

The murder weapon was later determined to have been a kitchen knife stolen from a Giant Supermarket, according to The Washington Post.

Martinez had gotten engaged six days before her death. She had been an employee of FiscalNote, a company that helps businesses track how government decisions impact their profits. 

Crawford has struggled with mental illness in the past, records indicate.

“I want to apologize to my family for my poor decision,” Crawford said in court, according to The Post. “I want to apologize to the Martinez family for my poor decision. I don’t know what else to say about my mental health.”

Crawford's public defender, Dana Page, had claimed that he had little understanding of his own actions.

“He is trying to understand what happened,” Page said, according to The Post. “He is searching for the reasons. But we all know the reason. It’s Mr. Crawford’s mental illness. ... The monster is not Mr. Crawford. The monster is his brain.” 

According to Crawford's attorneys, he decided to forego a mental illness defense in favor of a straightforward guilty plea.

Judge Craig Iscoe mourned the victim as he delivered his sentence.

“You cruelly, viciously, savagely and needlessly ended the life of someone who everyone seems to agree was a wonderful person,” Iscoe said, according to The Post. "I recognize the mental issues that may have contributed to these actions, but they have created inescapable, enduring and permanent harm.”

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