Last updated: May 26. 2014 11:17PM - 3379 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

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State police last week obtained search warrants to swab the inside mouths of James Edward Roche and Holly Ann Crawford, both jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility facing criminal homicide charges.

Roche, 31, and Crawford, 39, were charged in the slayings of Ronald Evans, 73, and his son, Jeffrey Evans, 43, on April 23.

State police allege Roche was dismayed that his girlfriend, Crawford, had a prior sexual relationship with the elder Evans. Roche allegedly made repeated threats to kill Crawford’s former lover and made good on those threats when he went to Evans’ house on Sunset Road in Hunlock Township with a shotgun.

Ronald Evans was found lying on his back near the rear door with a gunshot wound to his chest. Jeffrey Evans was found with multiple gunshot wounds to his back in the hallway, according to the criminal complaints.

State police wanted DNA samples from Roche and Crawford to discredit their blood from blood recovered from Crawford’s clothing, napkins, a rifle and a beer case, search warrant affidavits say.

According to the criminal complaints:

Crawford’s mother, Moya Linde, on April 23 reported Roche and Crawford had stolen her Nissan Versa and credit card and were on their way to kill Ronald Evans, after which they planned to flee to Philadelphia.

Less than 30 minutes later, state police found the bodies.

Linde later called state police and told them Roche and Crawford returned to 71 Dobson Road, Ross Township, and walked into the woods carrying a bottle of alcohol, Kool-Aid mix and a gun.

The pair were spotted by a state police helicopter and taken into custody without incident.

During the investigation, state police said they recovered blood from Crawford’s clothing, napkins with blood from the area where they were arrested and blood on the barrel of a .22 caliber rifle taken from the Dobson Road home.

Police also found blood on a beer case found inside the Nissan’s trunk, according to the search warrant affidavits.

A preliminary hearing for Roche and Crawford is scheduled on June 18 before District Judge John Hasay in Shickshinny.

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