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Joseph Craigo found guilty of first degree murder

CASS COUNTY, Mich. – Joseph Craigo, the man who stood trial for the murder of his father, was found guilty of first degree murder Friday morning.

In court Thursday, Craigo took the stand claiming he stabbed his father in self-defense.

The lethal puncture to Alan Craigo’s neck is what killed him, along with a total of 11 stab wounds.

The murder took place in May 2017 on State Line Road in Mason Township where Craigo and his father were arguing then Craigo brutally stabbed him.

Craigo testified he was frightened by his father and didn’t know what to do, so he stabbed him while defending himself.

The jury found him guilty of his father’s murder after deliberating less than one hour.

Craigo was found guilty of first degree murder, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, felonious assault and interference of an electronic communications device.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz advised “This verdict sends a crystal clear message that such barbary will never be tolerated.”

His sentencing is scheduled for September 14.

The murder charge carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Cass County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Tiffiny Vohwinkle said that the brutal crime made this trial difficult. “Some of the officers told me it was the bloodiest scene they’ve ever seen.”

The verdict is the justice Craigo's mother, Ellen Craigo was hoping for. 

“She suffered through losing her husband in such a terrible way, at the hands of her son,” Vohwinkle said.

66-year-old Ellen Craigo courageously took the stand to testify against her son after he threatened her with the knife that slashed her husband 11 times. She explained being on the stand was “nerve wracking,” but she is happy to “finally got the truth out.”

One truth – Alan was not the abusive father Joseph claimed he was. “We adopted him. And it was his kid, it was his son because he couldn’t have children,” the mother explained.

Ellen says her husband idolized Joseph. “That was his number one. He did everything for him. Everything.”

With her son’s conviction, Ellen can now rest a little easier.

“I think this will give her peace. She was still terrified that he may come back and kill her,” Vohwinkle said.

Now she’s left with loving memories of her husband.  “The way he’d tease me about me being so small, he’d have to duck over to give me a kiss every day before he went to work,” Craigo said smiling.

Around her neck sits a teddy bear filled with the ashes of her husband. “I wear it all the time so he’s with me.”

And as for her son who viciously took her husband— “I love my son, yes.” “But I can’t forgive him for what he did.”


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