Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County — 40-year-old Holly Crawford of Sweet Valley had no words Wednesday afternoon following her conviction on two counts each of criminal homicide and criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide. A jury deliberated more than 15 hours over two days before finding her guilty on all counts in connection with the April 2014 shooting deaths of 73-year-old Ronald Evans and his 43-year-old son, Jeffrey of Hunlock Township. Defense Attorney Jonathan Blum said, “Hey, the jury deliberated. There must have been some doubt for awhile.” Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavanti added, “They took their job very seriously and it’s apparent they took their time in deliberating and we are very pleased with the decision that was made.”
Family and friends of the murder victims shared satisfaction with the verdict. “It doesn’t bring my brother or Jeff back but good for her. She belongs there. She’s an awful person,” said Elaine Kukowski who is the sister and aunt of the victims. Barbara Muscovitch of Hanover Township knew the Evans family well. She expressed her feelings about Crawford’s conviction. “She’s not walking. She’s not going nowhere. She’s paying for what happened and finally that is great for somebody like her because she’s been through so much and gotten out of so much.”
Crawford has lived a troubled life with DUI’s, numerous drug charges and an animal cruelty conviction for piercing kittens’ ears, necks, and tails and trying to sell them as “Gothic Kitties.” “This isn’t the Holly that I knew. Not at all. And I knew that she must have gotten into some kind of trouble and I just wanted to be here for her,” said Stefania Mukorjee who was childhood friends with Crawford but lost touch with her through the years. The Glen Lyon woman hopes Crawford will find new purpose in prison. “She won’t get into drugs anymore. She won’t be drinking so maybe her life will get better while she’s in there. Who knows what God has planned?”
The prosecution has little time to celebrate the Crawford conviction. In less than two months, they will try Crawford’s co-defendant. 33-year-old James Roche of Wilkes-Barre is scheduled to stand trial on the same counts for which Crawford was convicted. “We believe we have a strong case against Mr. Roche. We look forward to trial against him,” said Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Mamie Phillips who led the prosecution team against Crawford and will do the same at the trial for Roche which is set for November 2nd.