Clark Atlanta student was choked, smothered, warrants say

Alexis Crawford, 21, died early on Oct. 31, investigators say

Clark Atlanta University student Alexis Crawford was strangled to death and smothered with a plastic bag before her remains were placed in a plastic bin and dumped in a park, according to Fulton County Superior Court documents released Tuesday.

In an already appalling case that continues to make national headlines, the latest details shed more light on the final moments of Crawford’s life. The 21-year-old college senior was allegedly killed by her roommate and the roommate’s boyfriend.

“Alexis represents all of our children,” the Rev. Markel Hutchins told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday. “This could have been our daughter, our sister. This could’ve been anybody. This was not a young lady that was doing something wrong. She was doing everything right.”

When she was allegedly assaulted by her roommate’s boyfriend, Crawford contacted Atlanta police. She didn’t know exactly what had happened, according to a police report, but she was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. That was Oct. 26. Less than a week later, Crawford was dead.

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Crawford and her roommate, Jordyn Jones, had been close friends while studying at Clark Atlanta. Jones, a Michigan native, had visited the Crawford family home for holidays rather than traveling home.

Crawford and her roommate, Jordyn Jones, had been close friends while studying at Clark Atlanta. Jones, a Michigan native, had visited the Crawford family home for holidays rather than traveling home.

On Oct. 26, Jones’ boyfriend, Barron Brantley, was with the roommates in their McDaniel Street apartment, and the three consumed alcohol, according to police reports. The following day, Crawford reported to police that Brantley had assaulted her.

After the alleged assault, Crawford and Jones weren’t on speaking terms, Jones later told police. But on the night of Oct. 30, Crawford asked Jones to take her for a late-night trip for alcohol, according to Jones. Jones obliged.

Back at their off-campus apartment, Crawford and Jones got into a physical fight, court documents state. Brantley also got involved in the fight, documents say.

“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” an Atlanta Police Department report says. “Afterwards Jones and Brantley placed Alexis Crawford in a plastic bin and transported her body to Exchange Park in Decatur, GA, where they placed her body in the woods.”

According to Jones’ arrest warrant, Jones also smothered Crawford with a black trash bag. Crawford was killed in the early-morning hours of Oct. 31, the warrant states.

The following day, Crawford’s family reported her missing to Atlanta police, who began the second investigation involving the college senior in less than a week.

Jones told police she didn’t know her roommate’s whereabouts. But on Friday, following a weeklong search for Crawford, Brantley admitted to investigators that he had choked and killed her, according to court documents. Crawford’s body was found Friday, Atlanta police said.

Brantley, 21, was arrested late Friday and charged with felony murder. Jones, 21, was arrested Saturday morning and also charged with felony murder. Both were being held without bond Tuesday morning at the Fulton jail. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 22.

Credit: Courtesy Crawford Family

Credit: Courtesy Crawford Family

Brantley has a prior criminal history and his latest arrest violated terms of his probation following a conviction for theft by taking and hindering an emergency telephone call, jail records show. Jones’ father said she is currently on probation for a DUI offense in Michigan, court documents show.

Crawford’s death shocked the Clark Atlanta community, which hosted a candlelight vigil in her honor Sunday night. The family still plans to hold a funeral for Crawford on Saturday in Athens, although the venue has changed to a larger church to accommodate the large turnout expected, Hutchins said.

Visitation will be held Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hill Chapel Baptist Church in Athens, Hutchins said. A noon funeral is planned for Saturday at Cornerstone Church, also in Athens.

Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes is in charge of arrangements. Anyone wishing to assist the family with funeral costs should call the funeral home at 770-338-5558. Payments are accepted over the phone, a funeral home spokesman said.

“The Crawfords have a large family, 10 children, and they have three in college, including Alexis,” Hutchins said. “They not only need, but also deserve the public’s support in laying her to rest with the kind of dignity and decency she deserves.”