May 6, 2024 - News

Jonathan Crews' mother wants special prosecutor to investigate son's 2014 death

A photo of a large group in a circle holding hands

The Crews family participates in a prayer circle with its legal team and supporters after the 2022 civil jury verdict in their favor. Pool photo: Shafkat Anowar/Dallas Morning News

The mother of a Coppell man whose 2014 death remains unresolved is in Washington, D.C., this week to ask North Texas lawmakers for help with the case.

Why it matters: Pamela Crews is joining three other families who believe local authorities bungled investigations into the deaths of their loved ones.

  • They're seeking help from their representatives in Congress to get special prosecutors appointed and a liaison between the families and the government agencies.

The big picture: The group is led by Nashville-based private investigator Sheila Wysocki, who has been featured in several national crime stories.

  • "We're not going in demanding. We're not going in wanting to get a law passed. We're going in asking for help — how can we do things better," Wysocki says.
A photo of Jonathan Crews
Jonathan Crews was working as an operation director at a health care company before he died. Photo: Courtesy of the Crews family

Catch up quick: Jonathan Crews' girlfriend, Brenda Lazaro, was in his Coppell apartment the night he was fatally shot in the chest.

  • Initial police documents refer to the case as a homicide but the manner of death remains undetermined by the Dallas County medical examiner's office 10 years later.
  • No one was charged in the case.

Friction point: Lazaro told police he shot himself to prove his love for her. His family says that doesn't make sense because he planned to break up with her.

  • The Crews family sued Lazaro, and a civil jury found in 2022 that she was responsible for the death, saying the family should get $206 million in damages from her.
  • The case was featured on "Dateline."

What's happening: Like the other families traveling to Washington, Pamela Crews is footing the bill for the trip. Her family has already sought help from the Dallas County district attorney and Coppell police.

Pam Crews and Wysocki have meetings scheduled with the offices of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Reps. Beth Van Duyne (R-Irving) and Colin Allred (D-Dallas).

Zoom out: The other cases are a 2015 Tennessee death that was initially ruled an accidental drowning; a 2014 Mississippi case where police and the family have disagreed on the cause of death; and the 2023 death of a Louisiana woman whose family says was hastily ruled a suicide.

The bottom line: The point of the meetings is "to put a face behind the stories" and show what they've already done to seek justice for their loved ones, Wysocki says.

  • "They've done the right thing, they have followed the rules and the justice system has basically let them down. These cold cases deserve to be looked at and taken seriously."
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