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Bond denied for alleged prostitute in escort service murder case

One of two suspects in the murder of Roderick Crawford of Barnesville was denied bond at a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon in Upson County superior court. Original information from the court was that Cameron Jones, 20, would appear Tuesday but his codefendant Kiera Williams entered the courtroom instead, surprising even the court reporter. GBI agent Josh Ayer was the lone witness called. He testified Crawford, 46, fought and begged for his life before he died. ******************** NOTICE: This story and photo are under copyright. They may not be republished or disseminated in any form – including social media – without explicit permission. ********************* Under questioning by assistant district attorney Marie Broder, Ayer testified Lamar sheriff Brad White and his personnel got Crawford’s phone records after he disappeared Dec. 28 and the last 37 texts were to Williams at a number she listed on an ad for an online escort service. Sheriff White contacted Clayton sheriff Victor Hill who already had an investigation going on another murder in which Williams was a suspect. She was eventually arrested and questioned by Ayer. Ayer testified Williams confessed and assisted authorities in searching for Crawford’s body on Jan. 3 but it got dark. Later she described the property and Upson deputy Heath Eppinger recognized it as the trailer where Jones’ grandparents once lived at 1414 Grantling St. in Lincoln Park. Eppinger went there and found Crawford’s body. Ayer testified Williams told him she met Crawford at a market in Thomaston and got in his Dodge Nitro. Jones snuck up on the vehicle and forced Crawford into the backseat. There, Crawford and Jones struggled for a 9 mm. handgun and Crawford was shot. Williams drove to the Grantling Street trailer where Crawford continued to try to fight off Jones. According to Ayer, Williams said Crawford begged for his life and to be able to go home, noting he had a wife and kids and had ‘never done anything like this before’. ”Crawford tried to get away and Kiera Williams shot him in the back of the head because Cameron Jones would not do what he was supposed to do,” Ayer testified. Both Williams and Jones are charged with felony murder, malice murder, two counts aggravated assault, kidnapping and firearms charges. Defense attorney Kevin Hurt wondered aloud if Williams had been a victim of ‘sex trafficking’. He said he will be seeking a mental evaluation soon. Judge Fletcher Sams denied bond and ordered Williams back to jail. Jones will be in court for a bond hearing on Feb. 4. For much more on this story, see the 2.5.19 print edition of The Herald Gazette.

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