Manassas mother charged with neglect to get mental evaluation

A Manassas mother charged with neglect of her four children will be evaluated for insanity at the time of the neglect and her present mental competency, a Prince William Circuit Court judge ruled Friday.

Kimberly Katron Crawford, 30, is charged with two counts of felony child neglect and two counts of reckless endangerment. Crawford’s husband, Leon Perrie Crawford, 35, faces the same charges.

Crawford’s defense attorney said he is concerned that Crawford doesn’t understand the charges against her, or even the roles of the various people in the courtroom.

“She’s been in special education throughout her life,” defense attorney Chester L. Banks said. “There’s no history of mental illness, but a long history of special education.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristina Morgan-Robinson opposed the motion, saying that Banks hadn’t presented enough evidence that Crawford required a competency evaluation, let alone an insanity evaluation.

“The Commonwealth agrees she has a low IQ, but nothing has been set out to the issue of [her] competency,” Morgan-Robinson said.

Judge Richard B. Potter allowed the evaluation of Crawford for mental state at the time of the neglect as well as competency.

The Crawfords were charged after their two older children arrived at school with frostbite injuries on their feet in December 2002. Both children had to be hospitalized. The Crawfords’ town house had little heat, and broken windows; the children slept on a blanket on the wood floor, according to the criminal complaint filed by Manassas police.

The older children have appeared at school numerous times “with bruising [they] state comes from physical abuse referred to as bizarre discipline. Additionally, extreme poor hygiene as well as poor nutrition and clothing provisions are available…” the criminal complaints stated.

Neighbors told a Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger reporter in January they had found new beds, clothes and books that had been thrown into the Crawfords’ garbage. The Crawfords also had a paper cross affixed to their door, and Leon Crawford would pause there to pray before entering the house.

All four of the Crawfords’ children have been placed in foster care. The Crawfords are scheduled for a jury trial July 7-8.

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