Chattanooga man indicted on murder charge in beating, strangulation death

Chattanooga man indicted on murder charge in beating, strangulation death

July 28th, 2011 by Todd South in News

Defendant Michael Crumpton appears in Judge Bob Moon's courtroom Wednesday, where he received a new court date to answer a criminal homicide charge.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

The Hamilton County grand jury has indicted a 47-year-old Chattanooga man on a first-degree murder charge for the beating and strangulation death of a 42-year-old woman.

Police say Michael Crumpton beat and strangled Victoria Godwin on June 7 in her Emma Wheeler public housing apartment.

Crumpton is scheduled for his first Criminal Court appearance on the charge before Judge Rebecca Stern on Aug. 5. He remains in the Hamilton County Jail on a $200,000 bond.

David Cox, Godwin's brother, learned of the indictment Wednesday.

"Thank God, I hate to say that but ...," he said in a phone interview. "I want him to suffer the way my sister suffered."

Cox, a bail bondsman in the Union City and Jackson, Tenn., area, said he or one of his siblings would attend every hearing to see that Crumpton is punished.

"I'm interested in making sure this man, who has been through the system so many times and gotten away with so much, maybe this time the system will work for the victim," Cox said.

Crumpton served more than 17 years in federal prison on weapons-related charges.

A medical examiner's report showed blunt force trauma and strangulation as the cause of Godwin's death. Six bruises on her head, one the size of a grapefruit, revealed the extent of her injuries.

"I was just amazed that this man was even on the streets of Chattanooga," Cox said.

In April, Crumpton was arrested on aggravated domestic assault charges after police reported that he beat his wife. The case was dismissed when she did not attend the hearing, according to Times Free Press archives.