Alexis Crawford’s accused killer and former roommate, Jordyn Jones, allegedly contacted the victim’s family before her arrest.
On Thursday (Nov. 21), Jones was denied bond by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rachel Krause, who deemed the accused a flight risk and described her alleged contact with Crawford’s family as “the ultimate intimidation of witnesses,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
According to prosecutors, Jones made contact with Crawford’s family to conceal key details about a rape accusation the victim reported against Jones’ then-boyfriend, Barron Brantley, who is also accused in the murder, 11 Alive reports.
The 21-year-old Clark Atlanta University student was allegedly strangled to death by Brantley and then smothered with a black trash bag by Jones on Oct. 31 before the pair dumped her body in a DeKalb County park. Her murder came days after she filed a report with local police that Brantley had subjected her to “unwanted touching and kissing.”
Crawford’s family reported her missing on Nov. 1. Her body was found a week later on Nov. 8 when one of the accused led police to the park.
Both Jones and Brantley face charges of malice murder, which involves deliberate intent and is punishable by death or imprisonment for life with or without parole.
At Thursday’s bond hearing, prosecutors accused Jones of attempting to cover her tracks just days after the murder, 11 Alive reports.
“On her own volition the defendant Ms. Jones called family members of Ms. Crawford and told them that there was no DNA found in the rape kit,” the prosecutor said, according to 11 Alive.
The prosecutor added that it was “incredibly incorrect” because “the results of the rape kit indicate” that Brantley’s DNA was found, 11 Alive reports.
No rape charges have been filed in the case, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Jones is also considered a flight risk because, according to prosecutors, after the murder and before she would have been publicly known as a suspect, she had begun withdrawing from Clark Atlanta and was planning on moving back to her home state of Michigan, a claim her defense rejected, 11 Alive reports.
“Ms. Jones would appear to be an appropriate candidate for bond,” the judge said, adding that she was denying it because she had been persuaded to believe that Jones might not “return to the jurisdiction for trial in this matter and that she may pose a significant risk of intimidating witnesses or obstructing the administration of this case,” 11 Alive reports.
The alleged sexual assault took place on Oct. 26 inside of the apartment where Jones and Crawford lived.
According to the police report, which Crawford filed the next day on Oct. 27, she told authorities that Brantley had mistaken her for his girlfriend, Jones, and rubbed her shoulders and kissed her on the neck while they drank alcohol. When she entered a restroom alone, Brantley followed.
Jones told police she found Crawford locked inside the restroom wearing only a bra, and authorities later recovered a “pair of cut panties” in the restroom, according to the police report.
Crawford also said she had blacked out and wasn’t sure of everything that Brantley allegedly did. She underwent a medical exam at Grady Memorial Hospital following the incident.
After the alleged rape, Crawford and Jones were not on speaking terms. Still, Jones agreed to take Crawford on a late-night run to a liquor store a few days later. Shortly after, they got into a physical altercation and Brantley got involved.
“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” an Atlanta Police Department report states.
Court documents also alleged Jones smothered her “with a black trash bag until Crawford stopped breathing and was deceased.”
“Afterwards Jones and Brantley placed Alexis Crawford in a plastic bin and transported her body to Exchange Park in Decatur, Georgia, where they placed her body in the woods,” the report also stated.
Brantley reportedly admitted those details during an interview with authorities on Nov. 8.
He did not appear in court during Thursday’s bond hearing, but both of the accused are expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday (Nov. 22), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Crawford, who was a sketch artist that loved to draw and spend time with her family, was laid to rest on Saturday (Nov. 16) as hundreds gathered to honor her life and bid her farewell.
“She represents the best and brightest among us,” Rev. Markel Hutchins told BET in an exclusive interview on behalf of the Crawford family. “She represents everything that we want our young people to be. …To see her cut down so prematurely it really is just heartbreaking.”