Suspects plead not guilty in murder of Athens student

Two suspects accused of killing a Clark Atlanta University student have pleaded not guilty. Jordyn Jones and Barron Brantley are charged in the murder of Alexis Crawford, a student from Athens who was found dead in a DeKalb County park in November. Police say Crawford was strangled to death. 

From Shaddi Abusaid,  AJC…

Police said Crawford was strangled and smothered with a plastic bag before the couple took her body from the apartment she shared with Jones and left it in the park.

The missing Clark Atlanta senior was the subject of a weeklong search before her body was discovered Nov. 8, previously reported. Jones and Brantley were linked to the crime and arrested.

Atlanta police Detective Mike Young testified in November that Brantley told police he choked Crawford after she and Jones got into a fight on Halloween morning.

“He admitted to choking Ms. Crawford,” Young said during a hearing in Fulton County Magistrate Court. “While he was choking Ms. Crawford, Ms. Jones put a plastic bag over her head.”

Crawford and Jones had been close friends while studying at Clark Atlanta, and Jones visited the Crawford family for the holidays rather than traveling home to Michigan, authorities said.

On Oct. 26, Brantley was with the roommates in their McDaniel Street apartment, and the three consumed alcohol, according to police reports. The following day, Crawford reported to police that Brantley had assaulted her.

After the alleged assault, Crawford and Jones weren’t on speaking terms, Jones later told police. But on the night of Oct. 30, Crawford asked her friend to take her on a late-night trip for alcohol, according to Jones. Jones obliged.

Back at their off-campus apartment, Crawford and Jones got into a physical fight, court documents state. That’s when Brantley got involved, he told police.

“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” an Atlanta Police Department report said. “Afterwards, Jones and Brantley placed Alexis Crawford in a plastic bin and transported her body to Exchange Park in Decatur ... where they placed her body in the woods.”

Both Jones and Brantley remain held at the Fulton County Jail without bond, records show.

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