They released a New Jersey inmate early due to the COVID scare, but needless to say, in this case things did not end well. They did not end well. The man was only released due to the Garden State’s concerns about the spread of COVID-19, but two days later this hardened criminal was arrested yet again for murdering a teen.
Jerry D. Crawford, 25, had been serving time at the South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey because he had committed the crime of burglary. However, on November 4, 2020, they released Crawford from prison due to “public health emergency credits” and they granted him mandatory parole supervision.
Just one month prior to this incident, Governor Phil Murphy had signed the NJ S2519 legislation law, which was a requirement that “public health emergency credits be awarded to certain inmates and parolees during a public health emergency.”
At the time that he signed the bill, Murphy took into account the fact that the COVID-19 positivity rate among the incarcerated population in New Jersey was ranked at the “impressive low of 0.09%.”
“Reducing our prison population will undoubtedly further our mission to combat COVID-19,” Murphy said last October. “This law further reduces the prison population to allow for even more social distancing.”
On November 6th, two days after Crawford was released from prison thanks to this public health emergency policy set forth by the governor, he was accused of murdering 18-year-old Davion Scarbrough, according to NJ.com.
Apparently, they charged Crawford with Scarbrough’s murder along with Yusuf Waites, yet another individual who had been released from incarceration. Waites is 23 and he was released from Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Crosswicks on the tenth of October due to a gun charge.
Surveillance video from the apartment complex caught both Waites and Crawford with Scarbrough just a short time before police found the victim’s body on a dirt path. It was riddled with bullets, and ironically, the body was located just a half mile from the prison that Crawford had been released from just a few days prior to the incident.
Indeed, it was just last week that Crawford and Waites had been indicted on charges of both first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting of Scarbrough.
They also indicted Waites along with three other defendants in connection to a December 9, 2020 murder of 27-year-old Jose Castro during a “drive-by shooting and a daylight gun battle through downtown Bridgeton.”
Apparently, it’s not such a good idea to let violent felons out because of COVID concerns. They shouldn’t have released him.