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Man with history of stabbing women gets 25 years

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A man who has been attacking women with knives for decades — and has spent half his life in prison as a result — is unlikely to get out again.

Lucius Crawford, 61, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life for stabbing his girlfriend to death in 2012 — a killing discovered by chance by investigators who wanted to question Crawford in two other fatal stabbings.

Transcripts made public before the trial included Crawford telling police he stabbed women for no reason, usually when high and after sex: "I have a demon inside me and I just snap."

"You stab one, stab 'em all," he said, according to the transcripts. "Kill once, you'll kill again."

Westchester County Court Judge Barbara Zambelli imposed the maximum sentence, and said it was her responsibility to keep the gray-bearded Crawford behind bars for the rest of his life.

Crawford was convicted of murder in the killing of Tonya Simmons at Crawford's Mount Vernon home. He was arrested in December 2012, as detectives were looking for him in connection with the two cold cases from 1993. They found her body, with more than 30 stab wounds, in Crawford's bed, then captured him nearby.

The jury that convicted Crawford in Simmons' killing was unable to reach a verdict on one of the old cases, the 1993 knife killing of a prostitute, which may be retried. Crawford is awaiting trial in the Bronx on the other 1993 killing.

Before and after the cold-case killings, Crawford spent about 30 years in prison for non-fatal stabbings of women in New York and South Carolina.

In the latest case, defense attorney Angelo MacDonald asked jurors to consider Crawford's thought processes and intelligence when they heard his voice on police recordings. MacDonald had suggested before the trial that Crawford has a low IQ, but he was found competent.

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