DEATH VERDICT FOR CHILD KILLER
James Lee Crummel, a 60 year old predatory pedophile who sexually abused boys before and after he murdered 13 year old Jamey Trotter in 1979, deserves to be executed, a jury decided. The jury rejected a defense of brain damage presented by Crummel's lawyers.
The boy was kidnapped on the morning of April 19, after he left a motel room where he was living temporarily with his mother. Crummel drove Jamey to a remote, mountainous area along the Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore where he was sexually abused and murdered.
Crummel, who by 1979 had served two prison terms for sexually abusing children in Missouri and Wisconsin, was living in Costa Mesa at the time. Jamey's disappearance remained a mystery until January 1990 when Crummel himself led authorities to the boy's skeletal remains in a fire-ravaged area of the Ortega Mountains. The trial never clarified why he revealed the remains. His lawyers, who contended that someone else killed Jamey, said Crummel was hiking in the area and stumbled across the bones. Crummel's record as a serial child molester was presented and two of his victims from the 1960's testified against him during both trial phases.