Barron Brantley faces murder charges in death of Clark Atlanta student
Barron Brantley quietly walked into an Atlanta courtroom Friday in handcuffs and a beige jumpsuit as prosecutors began to detail the horrific details of the role he allegedly played in the murder of Clark Atlanta University student Alexis Crawford.
After Brantley took his seat the defense table during the preliminary hearing, the prosecution called Atlanta Police Homicide Detective Michael Young to the stand. Detective Young and the prosecution then began to lay out their case against Brantley.
Police believe the entire case started on October 26th. On that night, Detective Young said Brantley, his girlfriend, Jordyn Jones, and Crawford were drinking before coming back to the apartment Jones and Crawford shared. Jones told police after she came home she got sick and woke up about an hour later. When Jones awoke, she stated she found Brantley and Crawford in a bathroom. Police said Jones was initially upset with Crawford being alone with her boyfriend.
According to Detective Young, Jones said Brantley left the area where he and Crawford were and allegedly told Jones, “I didn’t touch her or rape her.” After this, police said Brantley took Jones’ car and she called police to report the car stolen and said she thought something might have happened to her friend.
Later that night, Detective Young said Crawford and Jones called a friend who came to talk to the two and then called 911 to report a sexual assault. When police returned to the home for the 911 call, Crawford said she had been raped by Brantley. Detective Young said Crawford was taken to the hospital for a rape kit to be administered. Thursday, during a bond hearing for Jones, prosecutors stated the rape kit had found Brantley’s sperm in Crawford.
Detective Young said he was assigned to the case on November 6, days after Crawford was reported missing. He stated he read the missing persons case and began his investigation. After securing search warrants, police went through the apartment Crawford shared with Jones. Detective Young then asked to speak to Jones when she returned from Michigan.
Police said Jones came to headquarters voluntarily to speak to them on November 8th. Detective Young said during the initial questioning, Jones told them she didn’t know where Alexis was and the last she had seen her was on October 30 when they went to a liquor store together. Jones allegedly told police they came back to the shared apartment, she made a hamburger, and went to her room. Police said Jones told them she came out of her room an hour later and found Crawford’s room open and an empty bottle of alcohol on the floor.
According to Detective Young, at this point in the questioning, police presented surveillance video from a parking deck that showed Brantley and Jones allegedly moving her car out of view of the camera and then later leaving the apartment complex at 3:18 a.m. before returning to the apartment around 4:09 a.m. on October 31.
Police said during the investigation, they pulled phone records for Crawford, Jones, and Brantley and found Alexis’ phone had dropped off the network around 2:52 a.m. on October 31 and no further calls were made from her number. Jones allegedly told Detective Young that she had stayed in her house all night and no one had driven her car.
Detective Young then told the court Jones eventually admitted Brantley was allegedly in the house with Jones and Crawford. Young said, according to Jones, she and Alexis got into a fight and Brantley came out of her room and began to choke Alexis. Brantley’s defense attorneys pointed out that Jones had allegedly placed a plastic bag around Crawford’s head while he choked her. Detective Young said during a subsequent questioning with Brantley, he admitted to choking Alexis. Detective Young said that before attempting to get rid of the body; Brantley and Jones cleaned the crime scene, which police believed was in the living room of the apartment. Brantley allegedly told police the Clark Atlanta student was already dead when the two defendants allegedly placed her body into a 45-gallon bin.
During her initial questioning on November 8, Detective Young said Jones, accompanied by her father, took police to the area where she believed the body had been dumped. Crawford’s body was discovered in Exchange Park in Decatur, Georgia. During cross examination by Brantley’s attorney Friday, Detective Young said the bin was put at the top of a hill in the park and pushed. When the bin was pushed, Detective Young said the bin turned over and Crawford’s body fell out of the bin in the park. Detective Young said Crawford’s body was wrapped in a blue blanket, her hands were bound and an unknown white substance, possibly baby powder, was found on the body.
During his testimony, Detective Young said after Crawford’s body was dumped in the park; Brantley and Jones came back to her apartment and went to sleep. Later in the day, Detective Young said the couple attended a Halloween party.
After the testimony and cross-examination of Detective Young, the court found probable cause for Brantley to be sent to Superior Court where he will face charges including: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault with strangulation, and one count of concealing the death of another.
After that ruling, Brantley rose and was quietly led out of the courtroom to await a trial date expected sometime in 2020.