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Electric chair waits for Virginia murderer

Published July 16, 2006

RICHMOND, Va. - Weeping as one of her captors bound her with duct tape, the young woman made a final desperate plea for her life, telling the two men she was a mother.

Unmoved, Brandon Hedrick and Trevor Jones forced Lisa Crider to a remote bank of the James River.

"Do what you got to do," Jones told his friend. Hedrick squeezed the trigger, firing a shotgun blast into Crider's face.

Crider's body was discovered that evening - on Mother's Day.

"The sum of Lisa was roses and doves - she was peace-loving, no gossip, no maliciousness," said her mother, Dale Alexander, 55, of Altavista. "She would try to protect anybody around her."

Barring intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court or Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Hedrick will be executed Thursday for the rape and murder of 23-year-old Crider. Hedrick, now 27, chose the electric chair instead of lethal injection, and would be the first person in the nation to be executed that way in more than two years.

Hedrick and Jones, then 18, spent the night of May 10, 1997, drinking and smoking marijuana and crack cocaine, according to court documents. While cruising around Lynchburg, they saw Crider walking along a road. Jones knew who Crider was and believed her boyfriend sold crack, and they decided to rob her because they thought she might have drugs. They forced her at gunpoint into Jones' truck, where Hedrick raped and sodomized her.

They later stopped at the James River and Crider was murdered.

Hedrick and Jones were apprehended in Nebraska. Hedrick was sentenced to death in 1998; Jones was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2002, Hedrick asked a judge to drop his appeals. In 2003, he said he was a changed man and hoped to inspire other inmates.

"I know what I was involved in was totally wrong and I should have had no involvement in doing any of it. I do believe that I need to be punished, but I don't know what my punishment should be," he said. "I've judged myself harder than most people would."

[Last modified July 16, 2006, 01:57:15]

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