MPD: Homeowner was with victim prior to deadly shooting

MOBILE, Ala. – The story has taken some major turns since it was first reported Sunday morning, April 27. What started out as a possible robbery and home invasion is now a murder investigation. Police said Joseph Booth and the man he’s accused of killing were together Sunday morning, in fact they arrived at Booth’s home together.

Investigators believe what officers found on the scene when they arrived was orchestrated by Booth in an effort to cover up a crime.

Detectives were back on Houston Street Monday as the investigation into the shooting continues.

Police said the murder victim, 23-year-old Antonio Crawford was at the home to collect a drug debt. According to police, the homeowner, Joseph Booth, and Crawford arrived at the house together around 8 a.m.

“They was hanging out prior to this incident. They both arrived at the address on Houston Street together, and they was together during the time of this crime,” Officer Terence Perkins said.

Officer Perkins would not say where police believe the pair were before the deadly shooting. Authorities said Crawford was shot several times in the abdomen. He was dead when police arrived.

Neighbors heard the gunshots, and Steve Harwood told FOX10 News he saw the man’s body across his neighbors threshold.

“Halfway in, I saw his shoes. He was more in than out, but I saw his tennis shoes,” Harwood said.

Police are now certain the shooting happened on the front porch. Witnesses saw Crawford’s body partially inside the house. He may have fallen back inside after the shooting, but police said Booth tampered with evidence and that could include moving the body.

“That could be part of tampering with the evidence, also he could supply evidence that wasn’t part of the crime scene, or he could actually remove evidence that was at the crime scene,” Perkins said.

Crawford’s family spent the day making funeral arraignments. Crawford has had plenty of run-in’s with the law. Jail records show Crawford has been arrested more than a dozen times since he turned 18 in 2009. His arrest record includes possession of marijuana, and cocaine.

Booth was being held without bond at Metro Jail Monday. He will likely have a bond hearing this week. FOX10 News was unable to check court dockets Monday for the date, because of the state holiday, Confederate Memorial Day.

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