Former UGA Football Player Convicted on All Counts in RaceTrac Shooting Case
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
ATHENS, Ga. – A federal jury today convicted a Pennsylvania resident and former University of Georgia student and football player of federal charges resulting from a lengthy investigation into the shooting death of an Oconee County, Georgia, man.
Ahkil Nasir Crumpton aka “Crump,” 26, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was found guilty of one count of interference with commerce by attempted robbery and one count of false statement during the purchase of a firearm today. Crumpton faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for attempted robbery and a maximum of ten years in prison for the firearm charge. The sentencing date will be determined by the Court. The defendant is not eligible for parole. Crumpton is facing state charges for murder and other offenses in Georgia.
The trial began on Oct. 16 before U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self.
“No matter today’s outcome, there is no returning Elijah Wood to his family and friends, who have had to endure both the pain of his loss and many unanswered questions,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Pursing justice in this case was challenging and lengthy, but ultimately the dedicated collaboration of investigators and prosecutors prevailed. I hope that today’s verdict offers some measure of justice for Elijah Wood’s family.”
“Ahkil Crumpton’s crime was senseless, tragic, and irreversible,” said Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Robert Gibbs of the FBI’s Athens office. “This outcome reflects the commitment of the FBI to working with our law enforcement partners to hold violent offenders accountable. We hope Elijah Wood’s family can find some healing in this verdict.”
“NIBIN is proven technology used to link the criminal use of firearms with the person who pulled the trigger,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka. “In this case, NIBIN allowed investigators to successfully connect both shootings to the defendant. Working alongside our local, state and federal partners, ATF is committed to using every resource at our disposal to reduce violent crime and hold violent offenders accountable.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Crumpton was alone when he entered the RaceTrac gas station and convenience store on Macon Highway in Watkinsville, Georgia, on March 19, 2021, where Elijah Wood was working as the store clerk, filling in for a sick coworker. Crumpton’s face was covered, and he was wearing dark clothing and football gloves. There was another customer in the store; Crumpton is seen on surveillance video exiting and then returning at 1:15 a.m. Upon his return, Crumpton approached Wood, who was standing behind the counter at the cash register. Crumpton pointed a Glock 19 pistol with a weapon mounted light at Wood, firing one round at close range towards Wood, striking him in the chest. Wood’s girlfriend testified at trial that she was on a FaceTime call with Wood at the time. Crumpton ran out of the store without taking any money or merchandise. Wood died at the scene. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) located one 9mm shell casing from the counter between two of the cash registers.
Four months later, on July 17, 2021, Crumpton was seen exiting the South Street Diner at 140 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 3:18 a.m. to retrieve a Glock 43 pistol from a vehicle and was approached by Anthony Jones. Surveillance video from a nearby business captured the encounter between Jones and Crumpton. Jones brandished a silver handgun and pointed it at Crumpton, then appeared to grab the car keys out of Crumpton’s left hand. Jones forcefully removed the Glock 43 pistol from Crumpton’s right pocket while simultaneously holding him at gunpoint. When Jones turned around following the robbery and began to run away, Crumpton pulled a Glock 19 pistol from his waistband and fired 13 gunshots that ultimately struck and killed Jones. The spent 9mm shell casings ejected from Crumpton’s handgun were collected by law enforcement and later submitted to ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) for comparison testing. The analysis confirmed that the firearm used in the RaceTrac murder in Oconee County, Georgia, was the same firearm used in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shooting.
On the morning of March 16, 2022, FBI and ATF agents arrested Crumpton in Philadelphia on a murder warrant issued out of the Superior Court of Oconee County, Georgia. Crumpton jumped out of his bedroom window to escape arrest, but he was taken into custody by FBI SWAT following a chase. Inside Crumpton’s bedroom, agents located the Glock 19 pistol that was confirmed in ballistics testing to be the one used in the shooting deaths of Elijah Wood in Oconee County and Anthony Jones in Philadelphia. The gun was found inside Crumpton’s official 2018 Rose Bowl Game backpack given to the players who competed in the football game. In addition, agents found items of clothing worn by Crumpton in both shooting deaths and a loaded AR-15 rifle.
Crumpton was a former member of the University of Georgia (UGA) football team, where he played wide receiver during the 2017 and 2018 season and attended UGA as a student from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2021, although he did not graduate. At the time of Elijah Wood’s murder, Crumpton resided at an apartment in Watkinsville, Georgia, less than two miles from the RaceTrac, with his close friend and UGA football teammate, Juwan Taylor, who is currently a player development assistant for the team. Taylor testified at trial that Crumpton came to their apartment after the shooting holding the pistol and was visibly upset saying, “I didn’t mean to do it – I just wanted the money, I just shot him at the store, at the store.” Crumpton explained further that when he lifted the gun up, it “just went off.” Taylor said he was frightened for his own safety and did not tell anyone. In July 2021, Crumpton returned to live in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Co-defendant James North Armstrong, 35, of Commerce, Georgia, testified that Crumpton was a client of his at his tattoo studio. Armstrong testified that Crumpton asked him to purchase a gun for him. Armstrong admitted that he illegally purchased the Glock 19 for Crumpton on Feb. 8, 2021, at the Franklin Gun Shop in Athens, Georgia, by falsely claiming to be the buyer on the Firearms Transaction Record-Form 4473 when Crumpton was the actual buyer. It is a federal offense to lie on Form 4473. Armstrong pleaded guilty to one count of false statement during the purchase of a firearm on Oct. 3 and faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for Armstrong will occur at a date determined by the Court.
Crumpton was originally indicted on four federal charges (for more information, please see https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdga/pr/federal-murder-attempted-robbery-firearms-charges-filed-shooting-death-oconee-county). The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Taylor, handed down a month and ten days after Crumpton’s federal indictment, found that attempted Hobbs Act robbery was not a crime of violence. Therefore, Counts Two and Three in Crumpton’s original indictment were dismissed prior to trial.
This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, please visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
The case was investigated by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI, GBI, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mike Morrison and Daniel Peach are prosecuting the case for the Government.
Updated October 26, 2023