A 21-year-old man who stabbed a Virginia Beach hotel clerk more than 100 times has told Prince William County police that he also stabbed his Woodbridge neighbor to death two months before, according to court records.
Paul B. Ebert, the county's chief prosecutor, said yesterday that the man, Brandon M. Crawford, is also a suspect in other slayings, but he declined to elaborate. "I would characterize him as a serial murderer," Ebert said. "Anybody that kills more than one person is extremely dangerous. And there's no indication that he would ever change."
While incarcerated at a Virginia state prison last November, Crawford matter-of-factly told Prince William detectives about his involvement in the death of Comcast cable worker Paul Domaszek on Sept. 12, 2001. "I killed him, sliced his throat and dropped a weight on his head," Crawford recounted.
Local investigators were able to charge Crawford in Domaszek's death only because two months after the killing, Crawford was charged with killing a hotel clerk in Virginia Beach. DNA samples that Crawford was forced to submit when he was convicted in that slaying matched blood at Domaszek's apartment.
Crawford, who has been described by Ebert as someone who "kills just for the sake of killing," is serving a life sentence for the Virginia Beach murder. He awaits an April trial in Prince William on capital murder and burglary charges in Domaszek's killing. But he will not face the death penalty, because the Supreme Court has banned the execution of juveniles. Crawford was 17 at the time of the slaying.
Ebert said it is "very likely" that he would have pursued the death penalty against Crawford, had the option been available.
Michael Devine, one of Crawford's two attorneys, said yesterday that the police report summarizing the interview will be reviewed to determine whether his client was fully cognizant of what he was saying and whether police obtained it lawfully.
"We will certainly take a good look at whether or not the statement was obtained appropriately," he said. "Mr. Crawford has a history of various educational and other problems that could affect his ability to understand what he was doing."
At the time of Domaszek's slaying, Crawford was living with his mother, Pamela, in the 3200 block of Ridge View Court. Police have said that Crawford and Domaszek did not know each other. When authorities found Domaszek in his apartment, he was lying naked on his living room floor, his throat slit and his body slashed nearly a dozen times.
According to the report, in the interview with police at the Powhatan Correctional Center, Crawford described breaking into Domaszek's apartment. He went through the sliding glass door, ate some food and lifted weights with "other persons" whose names he could not recall, all while high on Ativan, a prescription anti-anxiety drug.
Crawford, who was not shown photographs of Domaszek's body, also described to a detective how the body was positioned, the report said.
After the killing, according to the report, he said his brother Adrian smoked marijuana in the apartment.
John Bogert, a Prince William police spokesman, said yesterday that no one else is under investigation in connection with Domaszek's slaying.
When detectives arrived at his cell and told him they were investigating a slaying in Prince William, Crawford immediately said, "You put my crime in the air," referring to his concern that other inmates might have overheard the detectives.
Veronica Bierbower of Orlando, one of Domaszek's eight siblings, said yesterday that she is confident that Crawford's statements will help convict him. "I know he's going to pay for it," she said.