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Oconee RaceTrac murder case not expected to be tried locally for at least a year

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton (l), Elijah Wood (r)

By Joe Johnson

The suspect who is accused of murdering a Watkinsville convenience store clerk last year is not expected to see an Oconee County courtroom for at least another year.

That is because a firearms charge he faces is pending in federal court that has yet to be adjudicated..

Former University of Georgia football player Ahkil Nasir Crumpton, 24, allegedly shot and killed RaceTrac clerk Elijah Wood during an attempted armed robbery on March 19, 2021.

Crumpton subsequently fled to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pa, where authorities said he 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.. 

In May of this year a federal grand jury indicted Crumpton on charges of interference with commerce by attempted robbery, use and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, murder with a firearm during a crime of violence and false statement during purchase of a firearm.

Two months before that, 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.

Sheriff James Hale said the federal case will have to be adjudicated before Crumpton sees the inside of an Oconee courtroom.

"My understanding is that Crumpton will stand trial in the federal court first," Hale said. "I don’t expect the case to see a (county)courtroom for trial for at least a year."

Homicides are a rare occurrence n Watkinsville, and the sheriff said putting the person accused of killing the well'-liked store clerk on trial couldn't come soon enough,

"I think it would mean a lot to the people of Oconee County to get their chance to see justice served first hand,"Hale said.

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