by Jonathan Weaver
A former Templeton man who escaped from the Armstrong County Jail last summer and was convicted of killing a Rayburn Township woman was officially sentenced in the Armstrong County Courthouse yesterday morning.
After three days of testimony during his trial in May, Robert Crissman, Jr. was found guilty by 12 jurors – six men and six women – of first- and second-degree murder and other felony charges, including escape, robbery and receiving stolen property.
County District Attorney Scott Andreassi said last month after the verdict that the conviction came with a mandatory life without parole sentence. Crissman, Jr., 39, will be moved to a maximum security state correctional institution after being processed.
“That’s exactly what we were looking for,” Andreassi said at the time. “The jury had an incredibly-difficult job to do, but we’re grateful for their decision.”
Long’s daughter, Tara, was pleased with the verdict and sentence, and thanked the community for their support.
After his escape from the Armstrong County Jail in Rayburn Township the morning of July 30, Crissman fled to the home of Tammy Long and Terry Slagle.
Jurors could not determine a motive for Long’s killing – which forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht estimated during his testimony occurred between 6:30 and 8:30AM the morning of Crissman’s escape. Slagle left for work about 7:20AM that day.
Despite the conviction, Crissman reportedly pled his innocence before County President Judge Kenneth Valasek and is planning an appeal.