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Alleged murderer found competent to stand trial

Brandon J. Crispi (Courtesy Malheur County Sheriff’s Office)

WALLA WALLA, Washington – Eastern State Hospital has found a man charged with fatally stabbing a Walla Walla woman in March that he met online and was living with is competent to stand trial following a court-ordered competency evaluation. Brandon Crispi, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and motor vehicle theft in the death of Lorelie Carver, 56, on March 1.

“We don’t know yet if the defense will be seeking a second opinion,” Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle said.  “Ultimately, the judge has to issue a ruling on his competency to stand trial, and we don’t know when that may occur.”

A summary of the competency evaluation stated that a diagnosis of malingering, a history of substance abuse (marijuana, LSD, heroin, alcohol), and both schizophrenia and substance-induced psychotic disorder were ruled out. Malingering, as defined in the competency evaluation, was defined as not an actual psychiatric diagnosis, rather a reference to deliberate fabrication or exaggeration of symptoms for the obtainment of external gain.

It was stated that Crispi has the capacity to understand the court proceedings and participate in his own defense.

The court-ordered competency evaluation provided more details on Crispi’s past. He stated that he was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  Crispi said his first contact with police occurred in the first grade for bringing a pocketknife to school and that, in 2018, was arrested in Florida for trespassing, but had no prior convictions.

At the time of his arrest, Crispi was unemployed, but was in the interview process for a bus driving position. He indicated during his competency evaluation that prior to his arrest, he was traveling the country journeying between Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and most recently San Francisco.  He said he was traveling around so frequently to avoid drugs and alcohol, and added that he was homeless in New York for a period.  He reported he was living at a homeless shelter in San Francisco when Carver allegedly invited him to stay in her house in Walla Walla. He moved in with Carver a month prior to the alleged event.

According to the Walla Walla County Coroner’s Office, Carver was in her bed when she was attacked. Court documents state Crispi then stole Carver’s car and traveled to Ontario, Oregon. When he arrived at the Oregon State Police office there, he was in possession of a red-handled serrated knife, which is the weapon he claimed to have used to fatally stab Carver. He also appeared to have cuts on his hands and blood on his pants.

Nagle said Crispi’s allegedly admitted to an Oregon State Police employee in Ontario that God told him to kill Carver because she was a pagan witch is a separate issue that the defense can raise in the trial. The evaluation is just of his ability to understand the charges against him and aid in his own defense.


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