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Millcreek woman held hostage, beaten for 3 days, police say

Published: Tuesday, March 5 2013 11:05 a.m. MST

MILLCREEK — Police say a man who had been ordered to stay away from his ex-girlfriend held her hostage for three days, repeatedly beat her and threatened to kill her and her grandson in order to keep her from testifying in court.

Shawn Patrick Crawford, 34, was arrested Monday for investigation of kidnapping, aggravated assault and witness tampering.

The wild story actually began in August, when Crawford was arrested for investigation of domestic violence against his former girlfriend, 45-year-old Deborah Hansen, with whom he lived, according to court records. Hansen said she did not get a protective order because she was afraid of retaliation.

"I did not pursue a protective order against him because he has made threats to kill me and my grandson," she said.

Crawford, however, was released from jail on the condition that he not have contact with the victim, according to court records. But on Aug. 19, he allegedly returned to her home. Crawford was subsequently charged in 3rd District Court with violating the conditions of his release, a third-degree felony.

Investigators say Crawford went back to the woman's residence Friday, forced his way inside and told her "not to go to the court hearing being held on March 5" regarding his charge, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

"He said we needed to come to some type of mutual agreement where I would go in there and lie and say I didn't know what they were talking about, that I am crazy and that I lied," Hansen told the Deseret News Tuesday. "He kept threatening me that he was going to tie me up and lock me in a closet until we came to a resolution."

The police report added that "Shawn told (Hansen) if she went to court, he would kill her and her grandson."

Crawford then stayed in the woman's house all weekend and refused to let her leave, police say. At one point when she tried to open the front door, Crawford "shook her, threw her on the couch, sat on her, punched her on either side of the face in the jaw and punched her in the forehead," according to the report.

He also choked her to the point that "she began to lose her vision," the report states.

"He assaulted her multiple times throughout the days," said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. "She didn't feel like she had any plan to leave."

"He beat me, he beat me severely, (but) not like that last time," Hansen said.

On Tuesday, Hansen's condominium still looked ransacked. In the bedroom where she was allegedly held hostage, there was writing and drawings all over the walls with drug and sexual references. There was a hole in the door leading into the bedroom as well as a large hole through the drywall just above the bed. Hansen said both were caused by Crawford punching the wall and door in fits of rage.

There were other holes throughout the upstairs portion of Hansen's residence. Every bedroom and bathroom in the upstairs area was trashed.

On Monday, Hansen described how she came up with a plan to get away. While Crawford wasn't looking, she said she unlocked her sliding glass door in the back, and then suggested they walk down to the 7-Eleven to get cigarettes.

When they got to the store, and "when Shawn was distracted, she ran as fast as she could all the way home," the report states.

Crawford allegedly chased after her. Hansen said she got inside her house through the sliding door and locked it just before Crawford got there. She said Crawford pounded on the doors while she called police.

Neighbors say officers have been at the condo frequently in the past. Hoyal did not know how many times police had responded there but confirmed Tuesday his department does have a history at that address.

The timeline of events, however, was disputed by some neighbors, with some saying they saw Crawford and Hansen walking around outside at different points during the weekend.

Marko Dzebo, who lives two doors down from Hansen, said at some point over the weekend he did hear a lot of screaming and finally called police.

"She was trying to leave and he just wouldn't let her," he said.

Crawford has an extensive criminal history, according to Utah state court records. In 1998 he was convicted of an amended misdemeanor charge of attempted forgery and put on probation. He was convicted of felony burglary in 1999 and sentenced up to five years at the Utah State Prison. Crawford was sentenced to up to five years in prison again in 2001 for a felony burglary and misdemeanor theft conviction. In 2005, he was convicted of misdemeanor theft.

Hansen was charged on Feb. 7 in 3rd District Court with vehicle burglary, theft by receiving stolen property and giving a false identity to police, all misdemeanors. According to court records, Hansen had an ID and Social Security card of one person and the Visa card of another in her possession when she was arrested. Hansen also took a plea in abeyance for a misdemeanor drug possession charge in December, according to court records.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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