Memphis man accused of punching wife, leaving her to die in traffic has lengthy criminal history

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman was hit and killed by a car after police said her husband punched her in the head and left her in the road for dead.

FOX13 spoke exclusively with the victim’s mother Monday morning. She said there were several ways her death could have been prevented.

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"I told her, I said 'Jasmine, he's going to beat you to death.’ She said, 'Yes he is mama, he is,’" said Denver Roberts, the victim’s mother.

On Sunday, Roberts got a knock on her door no mother is prepared for. Police had come to tell her that her daughter – Jasmine Robinson, 41 – had been killed.

"She deserved so much better. She was a sweet loving person," Roberts said.

According to court records, Robinson called 911 at 1:36 a.m. Sunday, reporting that her husband – Johnny Crawford, 46 – had been beating her for two days and she needed help at their Grand Street home.

Memphis Police reported the call was ended, but coordinates came back to the area of Park Avenue and Airways Boulevard.

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The affidavit does not show that MPD officers responded to that call.

"That was terrible. He was beating my baby for 48 hours and she died like that. That was horrible. Cut me to my heart,” Roberts said.

Less than 10 minutes later, at 1:44, MPD reports they got another call – this time from Park and Airways. A woman had been hit and killed in that intersection.

Roberts questions why MPD didn’t respond to her daughter’s call for help the first time.

“It’s possible they could have saved her if they had got him. They could have saved her life. It broke my heart,” she said.

According to a witness, Robinson was running down Park, away from Crawford. The witness told police Crawford caught up to Robinson and punched her in the back of the head.

She fell onto the roadway on Park, where police said Crawford left her and went home.

“That was heartless. It was evil. I think it was evil,” Roberts said.

According to police, one minute and eight seconds later, Laura Turner-Burton, 59, hit Robinson with her car before leaving the scene.

She was found at her home with damage to her car.

Police reported that while in the back of the squad car Turner-Burton muttered she thought she “hit a bag.”

“You run over something like that, your car is going to feel it. You’re going to feel it,” Roberts said.

Roberts said Crawford was charged with domestic assault last fall and just got out of rehab.

While he was away, she said, her daughter stayed with her children and their father. She suspects that prompted Crawford’s actions.

“I think she really wanted to leave this last time. The way he did her, I think she really wanted to get away. If she called the police, she was serious,” Roberts said.

She has a message for women dealing with similar situations.

“If you’re going to get away, get away. You don’t have to tell him, just leave,” she said.

Robinson’s family is currently making arrangements for her funeral. She leaves behind two children and a new grandchild.

Memphis police did not respond to FOX13’s request for comment.

Johnny Crawford is charged with second-degree murder. Turner-Burton is facing leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

A TBI background check shows Crawford has been arrested several times since 1990. Some of these charges are for drug offenses, traffic violations, assault and burglary.

Before this weekend’s murder, Crawford was arrested for domestic assault causing bodily harm.

“It’s important for victims of domestic violence to seek help the first and to get out and to make sure they’re safe no matter what,” said Marquiepta Odom, interim executive editor at the YWCA Greater Memphis.

Court documents show Crawford was on probation when he allegedly came home drunk and hit

Robinson in the shoulder last April. His wife went to the hospital as a precaution, but Crawford wasn’t arrested until October.

Advocates said it’s common for victims to return to offenders.

“They may leave up to seven times or greater and unfortunately in many cases that seventh or eighth time may be deadly,” said Odom.

According to court documents, witnesses saw Crawford chasing Robinson down the street on Sunday before he hit her in the back of the head.

Odom said if you witness possible abuse, you shouldn’t try intervening to stop it, but you can help.

“They can make that phone call to 911. I’m in this area, there’s a victim a woman who is being battered, abused – please send help,” said Odom.

Odom said domestic violence victims who want help but aren't ready to leave can call their hotline at 901-725-4277 and staff at YWCA will help them make a safety plan.