Teenager collapses in court as he is sentenced to two life sentences for shooting dead his mother and sister when he was just 13 – as prosecutor admits ‘I don’t don’t think we’ll really understand why”
- Connor Crow broke down in tears as he was sentenced to 80 years in prison for the murders of his sister and mother in 2020
- The teenager was just 13 when he committed the murders, which he initially tried to blame on an intruder at home
- No motive was given for the murders, leading prosecutor Steven Dragisich to admit: ‘I don’t think we’ll really understand why’
A West Virginia teenager has collapsed in court as he was sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of his 13-year-old mother and sister.
Connor Crowe, 16, was sentenced to 80 years in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of second-degree murder for the September 2020 murders.
After shooting dead his sister, 15, and mother Melissa Rowland, 39, Crowe tried to claim an intruder broke into his home and carried out the murders, before pleading guilty to the November 2022 murders.
The murders puzzled law enforcement as they continued to search for a motive, with prosecutor Steven Dragisich admitting: “I don’t think we’ll really understand why.”
Connor Crowe (right) broke down in tears as he was sentenced to 80 years in prison
Crowe’s crimes shocked the small town of New Cumberland, a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
According to the Weirton Daily Times, Crowe killed his mother and sister by firing multiple bullets into each of their torsos, killing them instantly.
The 13-year-old then stormed out of his home and screamed for help from his neighborhood, alleging that a stranger broke into his home and killed his family.
Crowe allegedly told a neighbor that he managed to shoot the attacker during the commotion and hit him in the shoulder.
But the gun Crowe showed the neighbor was later matched with bullet fragments and casings from the crime scene, while forensics discovered the teenager was covered in bullet residue.
Police also said there was no evidence of forced entry into his home.
After the teenager’s guilty plea, District Attorney Dragisich told Circuit Judge Jason Cuomo, “I am aware that he was 13 years old, but my job and my duty as the district attorney of this county is to protect the public and hold people accountable for their actions.
“Thus, we will be asking for the maximum sentence allowed by law, a 40-year sentence for each offence, making a total of 80 years.”
Crowe’s trial also saw him uncertain about waiving his rights, leading the judge to suggest he might have received a reduced sentence had he appeared before a jury instead, according to Law and Crime.
“I don’t want anybody to plead guilty who’s hesitant in any degree – I’d rather have every defendant (going to) trial before me, all the time,” he told the killer.
But when Crowe tried to seek a reduced sentence during motions, Judge Cuomo slammed the teenager and condemned his ruthless crimes.
The teenager was just 13 when he carried out the grisly murders of 2020
“You are asking this court for something less than the maximum so that you can do something with yourself,” he said, according to WTRF.
“Your sister would have graduated from high school about a week or two ago. She will never have this opportunity. She will never go to college. She will never be able to walk down the aisle, get married and have her own children.
“You took this from him. You haven’t given her the opportunity to do something on her own, but you’re asking me to do it for you.
Although the judge handed down the maximum sentence of 80 years behind bars, the killer will be eligible for parole after 15 years.