Arrest of former Bulldog caps year-long murder probe in Oconee Co

“WE GOT HIM”

The arrest of a suspect in the murder of Oconee County convenience store clerk Elijah Wood comes almost one year after the 23 year-old was shot and killed while working at the Race Trac on Highway 441 south: Akhil Crumpton, who played football for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2017 and 2018, was arrested by police in Pennsylvania. The Sheriff’s Office in Watkinsville says it learned last month that a gun used in a murder in Philadelphia was likely the same weapon used to kill Wood on March 19 of last year.

From WSB TV…

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a former University of Georgia football player on murder charges in the shooting death of a RaceTrac clerk nearly a year ago.

Elijah Wood, 23, was shot to death on March 19, 2021 at the store on Highway 441.

The sheriff’s office, with the help of multiple agencies, arrested Ahkil Nasir Crumpton.

“Today is the day Elijah Wood’s family, everyone here at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, and our community has been waiting for,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “WE GOT HIM!”

In February, the sheriff’s office was notified by ATF that a gun used in a murder in Philadelphia matched the gun used in Wood’s death.

Investigators were able to connect that Crumpton, who is from Philadelphia, played football at UGA in 2017 and 2018 and studied at UGA until 2021.

A UGA website showed that Crumpton played as a wide receiver for the Bulldogs.

Philadelphia police have not released any information about what murder Crumpton is accused of there.

“It’s a great relief to finally have the suspect in custody,” said Oconee Co. Sheriff James A. Hale Jr. “For the past year Oconee Co. investigators along with our state, federal, and local law enforcement partners have tirelessly worked this difficult case. Although challenging, we were always confident we would find the person responsible for this senseless murder.”

Channel 2′s Tom Regan talked to students at UGA, who were shocked that the killer was a student.

Stephen Smith said he knew Wood, who served him at the RaceTrac.

“He was just always so kind and selfless,” Smith said. “Just a nice, soft-spoken guy.”

One student said he hopes Crumpton’s arrest doesn’t reflect badly on the Championship-winning Georgia Bulldogs.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with UGA personally,” Dami Ojo said. “Sometimes, you get a few bad apples. But overall, I don’t think it reflects on the program or UGA at all.”

Although an arrest has been made, this case is still an active investigation. Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 769 3945.

“This case is not over,” Hale said. “The arrest is only the start of the process, which will not end until we successfully prosecute this case in a court of law.”

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens.

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