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Judge weighs supervision for man who killed roommate

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A judge is considering how much supervision is needed for a Cross Lanes man who killed his roommate 16 years ago because he believed the man was a sorcerer.

Gregory Crouch, 50, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting death of Thomas Lee Hawkins in November 1998. He has been living in mental facilities and transitional programs ever since.

His court-appointed attorney, Ronnie Sheets, told Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King that it's time Crouch transitioned fully back into the community and live with his family in Hurricane. 

Assistant Prosecutor Don Morris objected and told the judge Crouch needed continued supervision.

King said he would consider the arguments and give his decision later.

"The doctor has some concerns about the risk of future problems," Morris said of a physician who evaluated Crouch recently. "He thinks he is at a moderate to high risk, and that coupled with his crime -- the killing of Hawkins, shooting him three times in the head because he was working with evil forces.

"We ask that he not be released to his parents' home where he can't be supervised and his medications can't be supervised," Morris said. "I don't think the court can take the risk."

Sheets said Crouch has progressed through six phases of transitional living, monitors his own medication and has frequent stays at his mother's home already.

"The plan he would be on is more supervised than he would have gotten if he'd been convicted and was out on parole," Sheets said.

Crouch had been hospitalized for schizophrenia several times in the five years preceding the murder and had been unwilling to take medication regularly.

Sheets said, "Two doctors have determined that he is no longer a danger to himself or others."

"He is always going to be a danger to re-offend," Morris said. "He needs to be in a facility where he can be monitored."

Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at or 304-348-4832


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