Convicted Murderer Resentenced to 52 Years to Life

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A man convicted of murdering two people back in 1999 when he was 15 will spend 52 years to life in prison.

Kenneth Crawford was resentenced Monday after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling found it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The courtroom was packed for this resentencing. Some people were even crying, but the judge says this ruling gives Crawford a meaningful opportunity for release.

Crawford had nothing to say after his resentencing for murdering Diana Algar and Jose Molina when he was 15.

Algar's husband Robert says the resentence is fair.

"That's something that I think Diana would've wanted, too, is to give him at least a little bit of a chance."

Prosecutors say Crawford and accomplice David Hanley posed as hitchhikers in 1999. Algar then let them into her home out of the goodness of her heart, but Crawford and Hanley shot Molina and Algar and took off in her car.

Crawford was originally sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2001. All these years, Robert Algar says he's seen a change in Crawford.

"He's become a Christian, and if he stays down that road, you never know," Algar said.

Prosecutors were satisfied with the ruling, saying it does give Crawford a real opportunity to get out of jail at some point.

"He's only in his early 30s, so there's a chance he'll get out when he's in his 60s or early 70s, so that's what the law requires, a meaningful chance for release. He has a chance," said Assistant Luzerne County District Attorney Jim McMonagle.

The defense attorney said she was disappointed with the ruling.

3 comments

  • burtfan16

    Screw it, the kid was young and he made a horrible mistake. Why don’t we just give him a pass and let him out altogether. I’m feeling sorry that his life is ruined by prison.

  • jsrant

    He posed as a hitchhiker, entered home with gun, shot and killed two people. I think he knew what he was doing regardless being 15. Now let’s feel sorry for him, he’s a changed man, gone Christian. What about the victims that are not here? You should rot in a cell.

    • Jeff _

      He’s going to spend the next several decades in prison. Possibly the rest of his life. There’s nothing to see here. Move on and find the next problem to be mad about.

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