Oconee Co. sheriff: RaceTrac murder investigation remains open


Oconee County Sheriff James Hale

By Joe Johnson

Although a suspect is in custody and was indicted for the murder of a Watkinsville RaceTrac clerk in 2021, the Elijah Wood murder case is still open.

Oconee County Sheriff James Hale made the statement when asked by Classic City News if investigators were looking for a getaway driver for Ahkil Nasir Crumpton the night he allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Wood during what is believed to have been an armed robbery gone bad.

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton

“At this time the case is still open and I don’t want to discuss portions of the case that might be sensitive,” the sheriff said.

Crumpton is currently in custody in Philadelphia, awaiting an extradition hearing that is scheduled for April 13.

An Oconee County grand jury last month indicted him for felony murder, aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The fatal shooting of Wood was on the night of March 19, 2021, while the victim was working as the night clerk at RaceTrac on Hwy 441 at Hog Mountain Road.


Elijah Wood

The crime had gone unsolved for nearly a year until Feb. 15, when Hale said the U.S, Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives notified him that a shell casing recovered at RaceTrac had been matched to a casing found at the scene of a homicide in Philadelphia, leading investigators to conclude that the same gun was used in both crimes.

OCSO investigators subsequently established a link between Philadelphia and Athens. Crumpton is from Philadelphia, played football for the University of Georgia in 2017 and 2018, and was a student at UGA until 2021.

After Crumpton refused to waive extradition to Georgia, the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office obtained a governor’s warrant to have the suspect extradited.

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