Fayette County man charged in slaying of neighbor
By Kari Andren
Published: Saturday, February 2, 2013, 6:06 p.m.
Updated: Friday, March 29, 2013
Police escorted a North Union man on Saturday from a Pittsburgh hospital to the Fayette County Prison after he was charged with killing Lisa Marie Tupta, a neighbor who cared for his ill mother.
Henry Clay Crawford, 56, of 227 Christmas St., was arraigned before District Judge Joseph George on charges of homicide, burglary and aggravated assault.
He is accused of kicking in the door of Tupta's mobile home and then stabbing her. Police found the bleeding victim on a couch in her living room after a neighbor called about the break-in Monday.
Tupta, 49, died at Uniontown Hospital shortly before 7:30 p.m. She was the ex-wife of North Union Supervisor Robert Tupta.
George said Crawford was not eligible for bail and District Attorney Jack Heneks could potentially seek the death penalty against the suspect.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 13 before District Judge Wendy Dennis.
Crawford, who was dressed in an open-back hospital gown and blue hospital slippers, answered questions from the judge with single-word answers.
He was arraigned after being discharged from UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for treatment of a puncture wound in his neck, three stab wounds in his stomach and cuts on his hands, according to police.
Police are investigating whether Crawford's injuries were self-inflicted or sustained during a struggle with the victim.
According to a criminal complaint filed by state police Trooper Tom Broadwater, Crawford allegedly stabbed Tupta in the abdomen, neck and right hand.
An autopsy found that Tupta bled to death from a lethal stab wound to the aorta in her abdomen.
Tupta had a protection from abuse court order against Crawford after two violent encounters with Crawford. In the application for the order, she said she had a very brief relationship with Crawford, who has a criminal record dating to 1978.
They met as neighbors at the Holiday Mobile Home Park, where Crawford lived with his mother, Violet Crawford, who breathes with the assistance of an oxygen machine. Tupta would assist Violet Crawford with paying bills, bring her meals and look after her.
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or email@example.com
- NHL insider: Penguins’ Shero seems ready to move Letang
- Morton, quick start propel Pirates past Reds
- Pirates notebook: Beanballs escalate tension against Reds
- Pitt gets commits from QB, local RB
- Penguins notebook: Pens talking with Dupuis’ reps
- Pirates announce signing of first-round pick McGuire
- Quick Fix: Steamed clams: Summer at the shore
- Reserve woman found shot to death in home
- Ligonier Valley softball team reflects on successful season
- Mt. Pleasant district has superintendent candidate
- Steelers rookie safety Thomas learning from Polamalu, Clark
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
I'm sure there is more to this story.