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Federal trial underway in Oconee RaceTrac clerk’s fatal shooting

Akhil Crumpton (l), Jeremiah Wood (l)

By Joe Johnson

A trial began this week in U.S. District Court in Athens for the former University of Georgia football player accused of federal crimes in connection with the death of a clerk at an Oconee County RaceTrac in 2021.

Akhil Nasir Crumpton faces charges of Interference with commerce by attempted robbery and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Charges of murder with a firearm during a crime of violence and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm were dismissed as the result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that eliminated robbery as a violent federal offense in which the federal murder charge had been predicated.

However, Crumpton still faces a possible state trial on charges he murdered the RaceTrac clerk, 23-year-old Elijah Wood.

An Oconee County grand jury indicted him on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit a felony and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Oconee Sheriff James Hale said the federal case needed to be adjudicated before Crumpton sees the inside of a local courtroom.

The federal indictment alleges that Crumpton brandished a Glock 9mm pistol during an attempted robbery at the RaceTrac gas station on Macon Highway in Watkinsville before fatally shooting Wood.

Crumpton subsequently fled to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pa, where authorities said he was arrested while in possession of a gun he bought illegally in Athens by using a straw man to make the purchase at Franklin's Gun Shop.

James Armstrong, 34, of Commerce, was also charged with making a false statement during the purchase of the pistol.

During the investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives notified the Oconee County Sheriff's Office that a gun used in a murder in Philadelphia matched the gun used in Wood’s death.

Investigators were able to connect that to Crumpton, who played football at UGA in 2017 and 2018 and studied at the university until 2021.



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8 Comments


Crumpton told Taylor he needed money. I don’t suppose it occurred to his sorry ass to get a job.

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Juwan Taylor should be charged too. He knew who did it and didn't tell. Accessory to the crime in my opinion.

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Replying to

He is certainly an accessory after the fact. It doesn’t look good for UGA’s athletic department to have him on the payroll.

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Albert Osteen
Albert Osteen
Oct 19, 2023

I really wonder the motivation behind this shooting. Is it possible the late night gas station clerk was part of the shooter's drug trafficking operation? Were they secretly lovers who had a falling out? Too many bad lottery tickets? Reckless CTE brain a la Aaron Hernandez???

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Albert Osteen
Albert Osteen
Oct 20, 2023
Replying to

You don't wonder why it went down? I don't really understand the derision to suggesting a possible motivation beyond "needing money" when if you review the security footage Crumpton runs in, drops him, exits. Looks MUCH more like killing the clerk for some other reason than money imo.


Is that hard to understand?

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OH NO! Please don't have the state trial in ACC. My God, this murderer is going to walk free & Gonzalez will give him a gift basket for his troubles when he leaves the courtroom a free man. My true condolences to the Wood's family. I'm so sorry. Any other county this scum would have gotten the death penalty. This is going to be a nightmare. Hopefully he'll get Federal life that will guarantee him behind bars, otherwise, the public is not safe & he'll be free again someday to take another life due to our embarrassing incompetent entertainment lawyer DA.

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Psychopathic animal.

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