Man Facing Charges Of Wanton Endangerment, Animal Cruelty

A Raleigh County man is now in jail facing charges of wanton endangerment, animal cruelty and more after firing a shotgun near a home and toward horses.

Martin Howard Crawford, 57, of Cool Ridge, was booked at Southern Regional Jail on Aug. 20, after a West Virginia State Trooper and a Raleigh County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a shots fired call at approximately 5 p.m. on Farley Branch Road, according to a criminal complaint filed in Raleigh County.

Upon arrival, officers found Crawford with a loaded Remington 870, 12-gauge shotgun, a loaded Glock 36 .45 caliber handgun and two additional loaded Glock 36 magazines, the report states.

Once officers secured the guns and placed Crawford in hand restraints, they were able to interview witnesses about the incident.

One witness stated that Crawford had fired a gun multiple times near her home and later threatened to kill her, her family and the nearby horses if they called the police on him, according to the complaint. Another witness told officers that Crawford said “If I see one cop I’m going to come out shooting and everyone is going to be dead.”

Crawford then allegedly began firing his shotgun at the horses. Witnesses also stated that he had been drinking vodka for a majority of the day.

Later, “a small pellet fired from a shotgun [was found] buried in the skin of one of the horses,” the complaint continues.

The arresting officer noted in the complaint that he could smell alcohol “emitting from the accused and also observed him to display bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech.”

Crawford is being charged with three felony counts of wanton endangerment, one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, two misdemeanor counts of assault, one misdemeanor count of shooting across a road or near a building, one misdemeanor count of being a prohibited person with a firearm and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer.

His bond has been set at $75,000.


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