Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Murder of Denita Smith

Denita Smith (top), Shannon Crawley (bottom left), and Jermeir Stroud (bottom right)

Denita Smith was only 25 years-old when she was savagely murdered by her fiancé’s lover, Shannon Crawley, on January 4th, 2007. Prior to her murder, Denita appeared to be in a great place in life. She was a graduate student at North Carolina Central University in Durham; aspiring to be a photojournalist. Denita was also happily engaged to a man named Jermeir Stroud, who worked as a police officer in Greensboro, North Carolina. Denita was completely unaware that Jermeir was also involved in a sexual relationship with Shannon. Jermeir and Shannon met after Shannon began working as a 911 operator in Greensboro County. Jermeir hid his affair from Denita, however Shannon was aware of Jermeir’s engagement to Denita.

Over time, Shannon grew jealous of Jermeir’s relationship with Denita. That jealousy was deepened when Shannon saw Jermeir and Denita together for the first time, holding hands as they walked into church. It is believed that at that moment, Shannon decided she wanted her romantic rival gone. She decided to put her plan in motion on January 4th, 2007. During that afternoon, Shannon brought a gun and hid outside of Denita’s apartment, waiting for her to leave. When Denita finally emerged, Shannon fired two shots into the back of Denita’s head before fleeing the scene. Denita’s body was later found by a maintenance employee. Police were called, who initially thought that Denita had suffered a fatal fall. However, upon closer inspection, it was clear that Denita had been brutally executed. 

The maintenance man who found Denita’s body told police that he saw a woman crying and running away from the apartment complex shortly after he heard gunfire. That woman was seen driving away in a Ford Explorer. Investigators also learned that Denita’s fiancé Jermeir was having “issues” with a woman named Shannon Crawley. Eventually, investigators learned about Jermeir and Shannon’s affair. After that, police were able to link that Ford Explorer to Shannon. Five days after Denita’s death, on January 9th, 2007, Shannon was arrested and charged with murder. 

Shannon pleaded not guilty and went to trial in 2010, during which the prosecution stated that Denita did not know Jermeir and Shannon were having an affair and she had absolutely no clue that she was in danger the day she was shot. Shannon’s defense tried to pin the murder on Jermeir, but the jury ultimately did not buy their story. Shannon was found guilty of first-degree murder on February 22nd, 2010. The judge immediately sentenced her to life in prison without parole. She remains behind bars today. 


  1. I think Stroud did it that nasty cop.

  2. Shannon was nuts. Killed that girl over some dick. And at the same time, removed herself from her children's lives over a man. Shannon is narcissistic and a psychopath. RIP Denita.

  3. Facts.Took Denita's life over some peen. Her fiance is just as low.He's as much responsible as Shannon.Sleep peacefully Denita❤����

  4. I think she killed her and her father tried to jelp her cover her ass. You spent 4 months in jail b4 you confessed, staged phone calls from a pay phone, staged a rape no evidence how did you know where the knife was if you were raped and traumatized????. You never took your kids to the Dr.

  5. Just watched this episode on Dateline. I think they should get Shannon to take a lie detector test. She already has life in prison so if she's really innocent she has no reason to say no. I personally think they were both in on it some how. Shannon staged a lot of attempts at framing J but it seems like that was almost a plea for help because she knew he would get away with it. But also I cant get over how composed and "scripted" she seems in interviews.
    I think there is a lot we don't know in this story and both are guilty, CAN WE GET A POLYGRAPH TEST?

  6. How do you love someone this much? I loved my husbands down to my soul but I never felt like if it didn't work I'd kill or die for or over them when the world is full of other men. This was senseless.


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