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Ohio Jury Convicts 19-Year-Old of Murdering High School Grad Na’Kia Crawford at a Red Light in Front of Her Grandmother

Adarus Macio Black and Na’Kia Crawford.

Adarus Macio Black and Na’Kia Crawford.

An Ohio jury has convicted a 19-year-old of murdering 18-year-old recent high school graduate Na’Kia Renee Crawford in a drive-by shooting, which occurred as the victim ran errands with her grandmother in 2020.

The office of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh confirmed that Adarus Black was found guilty on Tuesday of murder with a gun specification.

“On June 14, 2020, 18-year-old Na’Kia Crawford was driving with her grandmother in the area of West North Street and North Howard Streets in Akron when she was shot several times, including in the neck and torso, by a gunman in a passing vehicle,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Akron Police a few days later identified two suspects in the shooting Adarus Black and Jaion Bivins.”

Prosecutors noted that Black was not arrested until nearly two years passed after the murder. He had been living under a fake name down in Georgia.

“In February of 2022, the Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force arrested Adarus Black in Georgia where he was living under a fake name. Bivins saws shot in killed in Kentucky earlier this year. His death remains unsolved,” the press release from Walsh’s office continued.

The murder case received nationwide attention in no small part because Akron native LeBron James spoke out about the killing.

“Nah we ain’t letting it slow down!! No Sir, Not Me 🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣. Somebody know something for sure. #JUSTICE4Nakia,” the NBA legend tweeted.

Initial reports that the shooter was a white male turned out not to be true, as cops suggested instead that Crawford was killed in a case of mistaken identity while running errands with her grandmother.

When U.S. Marshals finally tracked down Black, they found him with a weapon, two phones, and cash.

Adarus Macio Black and items seized during his arrest appear in images released by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Adarus Macio Black and items seized during his arrest appear in images released by the U.S. Marshals Service.

While the suspect’s defense lawyer John Alexander insisted that Black “didn’t do it” and there was no evidence he did, the prosecution said that regardless of whether Black or Bivins actually pulled the trigger both were “guilty of murder,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

At trial, Crawford’s grandmother Lynn Williams reportedly testified that she and her loved one were talking at a red light. Moments later, the grandmother realized everything had changed forever.

She testified Crawford’s last words were “I think I got shot,” the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

The victim’s obituary said that she planned on going to college at Central State University.

“Kiki the G, was planning on majoring in Computer Science Technology. She wanted to own her own specialist business and wanted to work for NASA or do forensic science. She enjoyed spending time with her family,” the obituary said. “KiKi always looked out for her younger sisters and brothers and would help babysit all her younger cousins and anybody else’s kids that needed a sitter no matter what, she was always there for people. She kept a smile on her face and her soul was just so beautiful, that when she walked in the room, everybody was instantly touched by her greatness and smile. Kiki loved to travel, do modeling, cooking, and shopping.”

Black is scheduled to be sentenced in Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Kelly McLaughlin’s courtroom on Nov. 30.

[Photo of Black via the U.S. Marshals Service. Photo of Crawford via the Akron, Ohio Police Department.]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.