Teen sentenced for murdering family members

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Hancock County Prosecutor Steve Dragisich says he’s hoping a teenage boy who was sentenced for murdering his two family members will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

“I wouldn’t want him living near anybody,” Dragisich said on MetroNews “Talkline.”

Connor Crowe, 16, was sentenced  to 80 years in prison for the Sept. 2020 shooting deaths of his mother Melissa Rowland, 39, and Madison Crowe, 15, who were found dead in their Weirton home. Crowe was 13 at the time of the murders.

Dragisich said he was pleased with the judge’s decision to hand down the maximum sentence due the horrific nature of the crime.

“Denying them the opportunity of the rest of their lives, it was the appropriate sentence, and it was something that we urged the judge to implement,” he said.

Dragisich said the murders were premeditated.

“He thought about doing it two weeks before he actually did it,” he said. “He had a lot of anger toward his sister. She was a very good athlete, very involved in things. He didn’t like that. There was a lot of teasing from his sister and mother.”

The motive offered by Crowe was that he was angry his mother and sister found out he did not compete an online school assignment during the COVID pandemic and that they threatened to tell his stepfather about it.

“He claims that he was concerned about corporal punishment from his stepfather and that was the primary reason he did that,” Dragisich said.

Crowe had also crafted a detailed plan to murder his family members.

“He concocted a story about an intruder that entered the residence and shot his mother and sister. He went even further with that story and indicated that the intruder had the same gun as him because he was sitting there thinking about a ballistics test that would’ve tied him to the crimes,” Dragisich said.

Crowe will remain in the juvenile system until he turns 18. A hearing will be held after his 18th birthday to determine which facility he will be transferred to as an adult.

Crowe will be eligible for parole in 20 years.

“I’m hoping he’s not let out after his parole eligibility, but it’s possible. Our goal is to get the maximum sentence allowable and that what we got,” Dragisich said.