KITTANNING, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A man who allegedly killed a female acquaintance after he escaped from the Armstrong County Jail will face charges of escape, murder, and robbery.
During a preliminary hearing in Armstrong County, a district judge ruled there is enough evidence for 38-year-old Robert Crissman to stand trial.
Crissman escaped July 30 while delivering breakfast to other inmates as part of the jail’s trusty program. An outside investigator has been hired to review that program and other aspects of the incident.
Sheriff William Rupert says Crissman walked outside to get the meals from a truck and took off. The body of 55-year-old Tammy Long was later discovered beaten and strangled at a nearby home.
“I think the most compelling evidence was that fact that Crissman escaped that morning, what he was wearing, the fact that the pants were damp or wet, the fact that those same pants were found in the Slagle residence, that they had blood on them,” Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreasssi said.
The shoes Crissman was allegedly wearing were also discovered in the house, one of the laces was found around Long’s neck.
Crissman was jailed at the time for violating his probation on a drug case and didn’t have a record for violent crimes.
On July 31, Crissman was captured after a brief police chase.
Calls came into 911 around 7:30 a.m. to report a vehicle, matching the description of one allegedly stolen by Crissman in Boggs Township.
Several people in the Templeton area spotted the first stolen truck.
“A short time later, a call came in from a private resident in that area indicating that Mr. Crissman was at her door, knocking on her door,” said Scott Andreassi, the Armstrong County District Attorney.
A mother, home alone with her children, called 911.
While on the phone, the homeowner heard a vehicle start in the driveway. When they looked outside, a white pickup truck was missing.
Police were immediately dispatched to the area. When they encountered the white truck, he led police on a chase of about seven miles, which ended on Williamson Road. Prior to the end of the chase, Crissman attempted to ram a state police cruiser.
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