Convicted Juvenile Murderer Has Re-Sentencing Hearing

WILKES-BARRE -- A man convicted of murdering two people as a teenager is being re-sentenced in Luzerne County Court.

It was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed Kenneth Crawford to seek a new sentence. That ruling called mandatory life sentences for teenagers unconstitutional.

Hearings for his re-sentencing began on Monday and it was an emotional day in court. Crawford was crying when the husband of one of his murder victims said Crawford is a changed man.

Crawford walked into the Luzerne County Courthouse on Monday morning, 17 years after he was sentenced in 2001 to two life terms without parole for murdering Diana Algar and Jose Molina.

At the time of the murders, Crawford was just 15. Now, at 34, he is being re-sentenced.

Prosecutors said that in 1999, Crawford and accomplice David Hanley posed as hitchhikers, shot Algar and Molina near Shickshinny, and took off in her car.

In court, Algar’s husband Robert Algar Jr. said of his late wife, “She was probably the most giving person I’ve ever known. She would do whatever she could to give a helping hand.”

Prosecutors want to make sure Crawford, who they said hid from police under the name Antonio Sanders, stays behind bars.

They are asking the judge to give Crawford essentially what would amount to life in prison but with the possibility of parole.

“To say that the defendant was without remorse in an understatement. He bragged to police about his abilities as a con man. He boasted about fooling Indiana police under his alias,” Luzerne County First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said.

Defense attorney Sara Jacobson called Crawford a changed man. She wants him to be resentenced to 25 to 50 years.

“Ken Crawford is not who he was back then. He is not defined by the worst of his actions,” Jacobson said.

Diana Algar’s husband Robert seemed to agree.

“He is a person that I think has changed. I don’t think he’s the same person that we were dealing with all those years ago,” Robert Algar said.

Crawford was crying in court after Robert Algar said that.

The hearing continues on Tuesday with more witnesses from the defense.

After the hearing ends, attorneys on both sides will submit written arguments, so it’s expected to be several weeks before the judge makes a ruling on a new sentence for Crawford.

17 comments

  • justwondering1234

    Now I get it! Someone convinced them that they wouldn’t get jail time due to being juveniles.Committing a random act of violence murdering a married woman with a another man traveling innocently together! Sounds fishy to me!

  • Jane Dose

    Now we’re going to let out a convicted murderer?? Such a disgusting shame!! So our taxes are paying for his retrial?? Sure…let him out…why don’t you give him free housing and healthcare too…set him up with his next victim… He brutally killed 2 people who stopped to help him and bragged about it!!! He doesn’t even deserve to live in jail!!! We should have put him out and moved on!!!!

    • MURICA

      Yes. Eventually, he will most likely be let out. People CAN change, and the statistics are very low for them to commit another murder. VERY low. Not to mention that they pay for EVERYTHING in jail. They pay medical copays, thousands of dollars to the courts, they pay for commissary food and their toiletries. I’m sick of uneducated people thinking everything in jail is free.

  • Jammie87

    Dont fall for this. He is a murderer and the Supreme Court said life without parole still ok, as long as its not mandatory. The judge can still order it.

    • silverfishimperetrix

      It’s my most sincere wish that your family members get killed one by one and you get to go last, after watching.

    • Robert Algar Jr

      Let me assure you, I’m no ones fool. Your misguided comment comes from ignorance and closed mindedness. Walk a mile in my shoe before opening your mouth…

      • justwondering1234

        Now I get it! Someone convinced them that they wouldn’t get jail time due to being juveniles.Committing a random act of violence murdering a married woman with a another man traveling innocently together! Sounds fishy to me!

    • 🤔

      How do you know Mr. Algar hasn’t forgiven him? Forgiveness does a lot for people. We’re supposed to forgive and forget. Try it sometimes and see what other does for you.

  • Bill K.

    Oh here we go again. This a55 will end up being a free man. I hope he gets cancer in every body organ and starts bleeding out every orifice. I hope he falls and breaks his legs while in the woods and dies there in the cold and all alone. I wish on him a painful, horrible death with no one hearing his screams for help. I hope his dog is there with him watching him suffer. I hope after three days of no food and water his dog starts eating him no matter if he’s alive or dead. This doesn’t begin to explain the hatred I have for this maggot or anyone who murders. “rehabilitated”…”changed man”….all BS. A tiger can’t change it’s stripes. I want revenge and couldn’t care about rehabilitation anyway.

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