Money Dispute Leaves One Dead

Dale County, AL - An investigation continues in a deadly home invasion over the weekend.

Around 4 o’clock Saturday morning, Michael Crawford was awaken up on his couch by someone breaking into his home on county road 56 in Dale County. Investigators say, the intruder, 26-year-old Curtis Lee Patrick believed someone who owed him money was there.

“He made entry to the house. The homeowner said the person you are looking for is not here. He didn’t know who he was, and he had to leave. Instead, he became infuriated and said “I’m going to get the money from somebody,” says chief investigator with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Harvey Mathis. “It’s believed it was over a matter of 20 dollars. “

The break-in turned into a fight between the two. Crawford was able to grab his gun and shot Patrick in the upper chest. Paramedics were unable to revive him.
The initial investigation shows it was an act of self defense.

“If the subject believes that he was in fear of his life. He’s in his home, made a forcible entry, made threats against him, that he had the write to protect himself, which he did,” says Mathis.

After being awaken from a dead sleep and with only light from the television, authorities say Crawford couldn’t tell Patrick was unarmed.

Mathis says, “They don’t happen that often, and we’re glad about that. Again, it appears the citizen fearing for his own safety used the firearm to protect himself.”

No one is being charged in this incident.

It’s unclear if Patrick was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

An autopsy is scheduled.

Two months ago, Patrick was arrested and charged with theft by the Dale County Sheriff’s Office.

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