Burglar Freed Because of COVID Committed Murder Two Days Later

(Headline USA) A New Jersey inmate who was freed early because of the coronavirus pandemic was charged with murdering a teenager just two days after he was released.

Jerry Crawford, 25, was in prison for burglary when he was let out on “public health emergency credits” for parole supervision on Nov. 4, according to NJ.com.

Two days later, he allegedly shot 18-year-old Davion Scarbrough.

Crawford and Yusuf Waites, another inmate who had been released early less than a month before the shooting, have both been charged for the murder of Scarbrough.

The two men were allegedly caught on surveillance video with Scarbrough shortly before his body was found. Scarbrough had been shot multiple times and was left less than half a mile away from the prison where Crawford had been incarcerated.

Crawford’s attorney, Al Wheeler, claimed there is no evidence his client was the one who shot Scarbrough.

“What’s being done now—the charging of Jerry, keeping him in jail on a charge with a phantom weapon and now charging him with the murder—they keep trying to buy time,” Wheeler said.

“You don’t buy time if you have something,” Wheeler continued. “He sat on a charge for seven months that was ultimately dismissed.”

Prison officials released dozens of inmates from the New Jersey prison, but only those who were within months of their release dates. 

According to Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., someone like Crawford should never have been granted early release—pandemic or not.

Citing the U.S.’s soaring crime rates and dropping incarceration rates, Cotton argued the country actually has an “under-incarceration problem.”