West Virginia man convicted of killing girlfriend’s daughter
A jury in West Virginia on Tuesday convicted a man charged in the 2019 killing of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter.
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — A jury in West Virginia on Tuesday convicted a man charged in the 2019 killing of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter, recommending that he face a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Jurors in Morgan County Circuit Court deliberated for more than four hours over two days before reaching the verdict in the trial of Andy McCauley Jr. of Berkeley Springs, news outlets reported. The jury recommended no mercy. Sentencing was set for Nov. 4.
McCauley showed no emotion as the verdicts were read finding him guilty of first-degree murder, death of a child by a custodian by child abuse and concealment of a body in the slaying of Riley Crossman.
Morgan County Prosecutor Dan James said in opening arguments that Crossman had sent her boyfriend a text message the night of May 7, 2019.
“Andy’s in my room and I’m scared,” James said. The boyfriend had fallen asleep when the message was sent.
Division of Natural Resources officers found the 15-year-old Crossman’s decomposed body along the side of a road in Berkeley County in May 2019. Berkeley Springs High School had contacted her mother a week earlier about her absence from school.
James and the girl’s father, Lance Crossman, asked the jury to reject the defense’s recommendation to allow McCauley to go free after 15 years.
“She will be forever 15 years old to us,” Lance Crossman said. “Counsel mentions 15 years. In 15 years he will be eligible for parole. She only got 15 years. That’s all she had.”
James said Lance Crossman and the girl’s mother, Chantal Oakley, were holding out hope “that maybe Riley would walk back in that door, that maybe they’d see their daughter again.
“When you think of mercy, what mercy did Andy McCauley show to Riley Coffman when he came back and disposed of her like a piece of trash?”
In asking for a lenient sentence recommendation, defense attorney Andy Arnold said there was no likelihood of parole for McCauley unless something “extraordinary” happened, such as “atonement reconciliation, redemption.”
The case went to the jury Monday after the defense called no witnesses before resting.
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