Burke Jury Convicts Granite Falls Man of Failing to Appear in Court, Being a Habitual Felon

A Burke County jury needed less than half an hour to find a Granite Falls man guilty of failing to appear for a sentencing hearing related to a plea entered nine months ago.

Christopher Gene Crawford, 36, was given an active prison term of 45 to 66 months by the Honorable Marvin P. Pope, Superior Court Judge from Buncombe County, after he was found guilty of felony failure to appear and having habitual felon status during Burke County Superior Court.

The defendant was found guilty on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, and jurors deemed that he was a habitual felon on Wednesday, February 5, a status that enhanced the length of his prison sentence.

Crawford pleaded guilty to felony larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle on May 13, 2019. Sentencing was continued to the week of June 3, 2019, but he did not appear. He also was supposed to be sentenced in Caldwell County on other felony charges after his sentence was imposed in Burke but did not show there either.

Jurors in Buke County wrapped up the single-day trial for failure to appear with the guilty verdict before determining he was a habitual felon.

Crawford’s habitual felon status stemmed from prior felony convictions for obtaining property by false pretense, felony breaking/entering and forgery of an instrument.

He will serve the sentence in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections at the expiration of an active term of 20 to 33 months he was given for the charges he failed to appear on in June 2019. He was sentenced on those charges July 30, 2019.

Michelle Lippert prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

CONTACT: Nathan Key
Phone: 828-695-6193
Email: Nathan.D.Key@nccourts.org