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Rare criminal charge filed against Brandon Lee Crowe


Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty had said he was considering additonal charges against an Arnold man who impeded police efforts to save a woman who had overdosed on prescription drugs.  Yesterday, he charged 31-year-old Brandon Lee Crowe with a second degree felony count of causing or aiding in a suicide.  39-year-old Julie Madeley of Climax Road in West Wheatfield Township died in March.  Dougherty said he realized that the charge is rarely used, but it “fits this case.  There are the right circumstances here.”


Originally charged with nine misdemeanors, including three counts of terrorisitic threats, Crowe is now charged with two felonies: aiding suicide and attempted theft; and seven misdemeanors, with two of the terroristic threats charges removed from the docket.


In an affidavit of probable cause, state police detail the events of March 27th, when they were called to Madeley’s home at 1:00 a.m. to check on her condition and later that afternoon were called again.  Crowe was there both times.  He refused to answer the door the first time before finally allowing police to enter and question Madeley.  She told them she had only taken her regular prescirption medicine.  The second time, about fifteen hours later, he stood on the porch repeatedly denying that Madeley was home before finally admitting that she was.  Police forced their way in and found Madeley unresponsive, but they were too late to save her. She'd taken a lethal dose of her prescription and other drugs.


Crowe was told to leave but later returned and was caught taking items owned by Madeley. Police say he took jewelry from her body as she lay unconscious and other things from her home and car, intending to sell them in New Kensington or Pittsburgh.


If convicted for both felonies, he could be sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison and fines totaling $50,000.  The police case against him is quite detailed about his relationship with Madeley and about a history in which his relatives said he habitually found vulnerable women and used them for his own purposes.  He’d known Madeley for less than a month and had recently moved in with her and anotehr man. 

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