Prosecutor: No clear motive in Weirton double murder case

WEIRTON, W.Va. — Hancock County Prosecutor Steven Dragisich says there is no clear motive as to why a teenager killed his mother and sister two years ago in their Weirton home.

Connor Crowe’s case was transferred to adult status and last week he entered guilty pleas to two counts of second-degree murder. He faces 10 to 40 years in prison on both convictions.

Crowe was 13 in September 2020 when he shot and killed his mother, Melissa Rowland, and his teenage sister Madison Crowe. They were found dead in the family’s Ardmore Avenue residence.

“There’s been talk of maybe he was scared to get in trouble for not doing work he was supposed to do in school. There was some talk of maybe jealousy of his sister, things of that nature,” Dragisich recently said on MetroNews ‘Talkline.’

Dragisich said that competency evaluations were performed on Crowe, because of his age, early on in the case and it showed that he was competent and understood right from wrong.

He said it’s been tricky because 14 is the age for a mandatory transfer to adult status once the prosecution requests that.

“When you look at the seriousness and you look at the taking of two lives, two young ladies, it was a clear decision for me. Given my duty, to protect the public, to move that he be moved to adult criminal jurisdiction from juvenile jurisdiction,” Dragisich said.

“In this case, because he was under 14 it was a discretionary transfer by the juvenile judge. In the end, he was transferred. We requested it but based upon our agreement with the defense, he also requested that transfer.”

Madison Crowe was a sophomore at Weir High School and a member of the Red Riders’ girls soccer team. Weir Athletic Director Donna Ferguson told MetroNews at the time that Madison was bright and funny and had an infectious laugh.

“Just one of those young ladies, no matter what kind of day she was having, always had a positive attitude, always a smile, and always a laugh,” Ferguson said. “Plus a very fierce competitor on the field.”

Connor Crowe will be sentenced at a later date. He remains housed in a state juvenile detention facility.

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