Pittsburgh man convicted in hit-style killing of federal witness
A federal jury on Tuesday convicted Price Montgomery in the 2014 killing of a Hill District woman who was set to cooperate with investigators in a federal drug-trafficking case against him.
Tina Crawford, 34, died Aug. 22, 2014, after being shot 10 times — including three times in the head — in a garage attached to the home she shared with her mother, police said. Nearly 30 shots were fired.
Her mother, Patsy Crawford, was wounded but survived.
Tina Crawford had been scheduled to meet about an hour later with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to discuss her role as a courier in Montgomery’s drug ring. She was set to meet with her attorney at 4 p.m. and then proceed to a 4:30 p.m. meeting with federal investigators. The shooting happened at 3:20 p.m.
The jury convicted Montgomery, 38, of violating federal drug and firearm laws, as well as witness tampering and money laundering, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.
The jury also convicted James Perrin for his part in the drug ring, a high-level heroin operation that ran drugs out of New Jersey.
Montgomery and Perrin were first arrested June 8, 2014, when they were busted by agents from the state Attorney General’s Office and caught with 1,500 bricks of heroin, more than $100,000 in cash and 16 firearms. They also seized Cuban cigars and a live chicken.
Crawford’s family told the Tribune-Review in the days after the killing that she’d told them she was involved in a criminal investigation.
In late 2015, federal authorities confirmed the connection between Montgomery and the hit-style killing of Tina Crawford, indicating in an unrelated criminal complaint that Montgomery’s DNA was consistent with DNA on a cell phone dropped at the murder scene.
Montgomery was indicted for killing a federal witness in April 2016.
The trial lasted nine days and the jury deliberated for five hours. A conviction for killing a federal witness carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
“Today, justice has been served in the murder of federal witness Tina Crawford,” Brady said in a statement.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.