Knight's Inn murder suspect arrested

Aaron Wayne Cotton

A Houston man charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Kendra Crump at the Knight’s Inn in August 2013 has been arrested and is awaiting trial in the Jefferson County Jail.

Aaron Wayne Cotton, 28, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Sept. 19, 2013, for capital murder, a special degree felony.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Cotton was involved in a late-night robbery attempt in room 101 at the Knight’s Inn on Aug. 20, 2013 in which Crump was shot in the chest and later died at St. Elizabeth Hospital.

The affidavit said Cotton and another co-conspirator severely beat a witness who survived the ordeal. The witness’ name will be withheld for security purposes, but according to the affidavit, a second witness was also present during the robbery and subsequent shooting, telling police Cotton set up a “date” with her and later came to room 101 about 4:30 a.m. But a few minutes later, Cotton’s co-conspirator would barge in wielding a gun and the two men began beating at least one witness numerous times before taking his wallet and cell phone, the affidavit said.

Meanwhile, “Crump was doing something with her purse, then (a surviving witness) heard a shot and saw Crump fell backwards on the floor saying she’d been shot,” the affidavit said.

Both witnesses pointed to Charles Cameron Frank as the shooter, according to the affidavit.

When police began investigating the late-night shooting, the affidavit said they researched the number Cotton had called a surviving witness from and determined an owner and an address. The number led police to the previous owner of the phone who, according to the affidavit, told police he sold the phone to Cotton’s co-conspirator, Charles Cameron Frank.

The previous owner of the phone was shown a photo lineup and picked Frank out of the photos, telling police Frank had been hanging around Cotton, who drove a grey Dodge Intrepid in the weeks before the shooting.

Police were able to obtain a surveillance video from the Speedy Stop No. 18 the morning of the shooting, a video police said depicted Cotton wearing the same clothing and Adidas cap he wore during the robbery at Knight’s Inn.

A photo lineup was shown to the surviving witnesses and they immediately identified Cotton as the man who entered room 101 with Frank who shot and killed Crump, according to the affidavit.

Frank was arrested by police first and during an interview, the affidavit said he told police it was Cotton who fired the fateful shot that killed Crump.

Cotton was arrested last week, Feb. 21, and was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on a $750,000 bond.

Cotton is set to appear in Judge Linsey Scott’s 252nd Criminal District Court March 24.

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