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Two men charged in Phila. carjacking crash denied bail

Nineteen-year-old Johnathan Rosa, left, and Cornelius Crawford, 23. CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA - Two men accused of carjacking a woman in north Philadelphia and plowing into a family selling fruit on a street corner, killing three children, have been ordered held without bail.

Court documents show that 23-year-old Cornelius Crawford and 19-year-old Johnathan Rosa were arraigned early Tuesday on charges including murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault.

Police announced the charges Monday, saying they believe the two forced a real estate agent into her sport utility vehicle, physically and sexually assaulted her, and took off at high speed. They crashed about 15 minutes later a mile away on Friday.

The victims of the crash were 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Reed and 7-year-old Terrence Moore, who had been selling fruit for a church fundraiser. Their mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, was also injured along with a friend who was nearby and the carjacked woman.

CBS Philly reports Rosa surrendered and made a full confession to authorities Sunday, with his mother and pastor at his side. In the alleged confession, Rosa told police Crawford was speeding when the victim's car blew a tire. Crawford was arrested by local police and federal agents Sunday evening in North Philadelphia.

Christopher Warren, Rosa's defense attorney, said his client told his mother he was shaken after seeing pictures of the young victims, according to the station. He said Rosa had planned to enter the Marine Corps in the upcoming weeks.

Records obtained by CBS Philly show Crawford was released on parole in April 2013 after serving the minimum of a 5-to-13-year sentence for robbery.

If convicted, both Rosa and Crawford face life in prison.

  • Crimesider Staff

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