Man sentenced to life without parole for murder of Smyrna woman

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the backgroundCobb County Superior Court (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

A man was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus five years after being convicted of “Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, and Possession of Firearm During Commission of a Felony.” The charges stemmed from the murder of a Smyrna woman in 2020.

The sentence was handed down on March 28 in Cobb County Superior Court by Judge Angela Z. Brown.

Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady Jr. described the incident that led to the arrest, trial and sentencing of Carl Crawford, 32, as follows:

On November 18, 2020, Crawford shot Juanita McFadden (27) nine times in the arms, legs, and torso. McFadden and Crawford were close friends of ten years. McFadden frequently visited Crawford’s apartment in Smyrna. McFadden lived in Crawford’s apartment off and on over the course of a few years. On the evening of McFadden’s murder, Crawford and McFadden began arguing and Crawford attempted to physically force McFadden out of the apartment. McFadden resisted and a physical altercation ensued. Crawford then pulled a 9mm handgun from his pocket and shot her at least nine times causing her death.

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Crawford’s trial began on Monday, March 21, 2022 and concluded on Monday, March 28.

Deputy Chief ADA Paul Camarillo stated, “This was a tragic and completely avoidable loss of life. There were no winners in this case. Both Ms. McFadden’s and Mr. Crawford’s families will have to carry this burden for the rest of their lives.”

The public information release from the DA’s office listed the following members of the prosecution team:

The District Attorney’s trial team included Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Paul Camarillo, Assistant District Attorney Sharletta Mahone, Investigator A. Lyda, Investigator E. Stockinger, Victim Advocate Ellyn Mills, and Legal Assistant Kayla Willis.

About Cobb County Superior Court

Superior Court is a trial court, so when you see a TV show or movie that depicts a murder trial by jury, in Georgia that would correspond to Superior Court. But the court also handles other matters.

Superior Court is where you would go to legally contest a zoning decision, for instance, since it has exclusive jurisdiction over property issues.

The Cobb County website has this description of Superior Court:

The Superior Court of Cobb County is a court of general jurisdiction handling both civil and criminal law actions. The Superior Court has concurrent jurisdiction with State Court over cases involving misdemeanors, contract disputes, premises liability, and various other actions. In addition, the Superior Court has exclusive equity jurisdiction over all cases of divorce, title to land, and felonies involving jury trials, including death-penalty cases. The Superior Court of Cobb County has ten elected judges who preside over jury trials, rule on evidence, hear motions, and render verdicts in bench trials. Each Superior Court Judge is elected to a four year term.

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