Walla Walla killing suspect found competent to stand trial

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – A judge said Monday that Brandon Crispi, a man suspected of murdering a 56-year-old woman at her Walla Walla home in March 2019,  is competent to stand trial.

Crispi pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree murder in the death of Lorelie Ann Carver. Family members said she went by the last name “Cruthers.”

The defendant also pleaded not guilty to one count of theft of a motor vehicle.

He was arraigned following an evaluation by Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake. His trial is set to begin on March 3, 2020.

Carver’s body was found on her bed at her own home in the Rancho Villa community off Dalles Military Road.on Mar. 1, 2019. An autopsy showed she had stab wounds to the head, neck and chest.

Authorities said Crispi, who was 23 at the time, stole her car after killing her and drove it to Ontario, Oregon. He then reportedly went to the Oregon State Police and confessed to the killing, claiming that “God told him to kill her,” according to court documents.

The victim’s parents said Crispi was a homeless man from San Francisco who met Carver online, and that Carver invited him to stay with her while he got back on his feet.