category: Erika/Benjamain Sifrit Case

Sifrit appeals

The Sifrits are in the appeal process right now. Erika is asking for Maryland’s highest court to overturn her conviction citing a reneged verbal promise not to prosecute her for murder if she provided certain information about the case. Her husband Benjamin is arguing that the prosecution in his case presented two different theories about the murders and so his convictions should also be overturned.

From where I sit, it’s unlikely either appeal will go through.

Sifrit case on CourtTV

As was mentioned by a visitor, tonight is CourtTV’s feature on the Sifrit case. Should be interesting, especially in the wake of recent news that Erika Sifrit is appealing her convictions on May 5.

The System airs at 10pm on CourtTV:

This one-hour documentary chronicles the chilling story of a couple who lured others to their condominium, toyed with their deepest fears, and eventually took their lives. Follow investigators through the crime scene as they gather evidence and decipher clues in their attempt to bring their suspects to justice.

Sifrits on CourtTV in 2004

Ocean City Today is reporting that CourtTV will air an hour-long television special about the Sifrit case. The special will air early next year.

Erika Sifrit sentenced to life + 20

Erika Sifrit sentenced to life plus 20 years

“Sifrit faced a maximum penalty of life plus 53 years for her crimes … [she] avoided the death penalty as a result of a deal her lawyers, Arcangelo M. Tuminelli and Thomas R. Ceraso, made with prosecutors … The defense attorneys said in June they would likely appeal the murder verdicts, citing a separate agreement Erika Sifrit made with prosecutors early on to cooperate in exchange for avoiding homicide charges. That agreement was thrown out after prosecutors said she had lied to them about some details of the crimes.”

Erika Sifrit to be sentenced

Today, Erika Sifrit is sentenced. She could receive up to life in prison.

Benjamin Sifrit gets 38 years

Benjamin Sifrit has received 38 years in prison. Judge Paul H. Weinstein told Sifrit, “You’re a butcher. You cut these people up for no reason.” He also said that his trial was “one of the few instances in 20 years that I disagreed with the jury’s verdict.” Sifrit will be eligible for parole in 2032, after half his term is served. In addition to the maximum of 30 years, the judge also gave Sifrit “a combined three years for burglary and a weapons charge, and five more years for being an accessory after the fact in both deaths.”

Sifrit chose not to read a prepared statement when asked by the judge if he had anything to say.

Benjamin Sifrit sentenced today

Today: Benjamin Sifrit is sentenced for his role in the Crutchley/Ford murders. He was convicted of the second-degree murder of Martha Crutchley and found not guilty of killing Joshua Ford. His wife, Erika Sifrit, was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Crutchley and the first-degree murder of Ford.

Benjamin Sifrit faces up to 30 years in prison. Erika will be sentenced later this year and faces up to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The Verdict is in

It’s in…

After just a few hours of jury deliberations, Erika Sifrit has been found guilty of the second-degree murder of Martha Crutchley and the first-degree murder of Joshua Ford. She was found not guilty of using the handgun in Ford’s murder but guilty on all other counts. She could be sentenced to life without with the possibility of parole.

Sifrit Jury Begins Deliberations

Today the jury in Erika Sifrit’s trial begin deliberations. In the closing arguments yesterday, the prosecution provided the press with a heavily-quoted (but also pretty appropriate) soundbite, referring to Erika as “Little Miss Scrapbook.” Considering she came away from Benjamin’s trial as “Crazy Erika,” I guess this new nickname isn’t so bad.

In addition to running a scrapbook store in Pennsylvania, Erika reportedly kept a number of keepsakes from the Crutchley-Ford murders, including a ring with traces of blood still visible, two bullet casings, both victims’ driver’s licenses, and pictures of the two from a bar.

The defense’s closing arguments stated that Erika was a “fragile, psychologically weak young woman,” who aided Benjamin out of love.

Sifrit case: closing arguments

Erika Sifrit’s defense rested their case on Friday, using only one day. Closing arguments are expected today.

As expected, the defense painted Benjamin Sifrit as the one who pulled the trigger, the same thing his defense with Erika at his trial earlier this year. More details about Friday’s testimony can be read at The Herald-Mail Online.