On January 21, 2020, Vershawn Hudson-Crawford, age 16, of Berlin, Maryland, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Dehaven Nichols, also of Berlin. The Honorable Brian D. Shockley, Administrative Judge of the Worcester County Circuit Court, postponed sentencing for a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted. Hudson-Crawford faces 40 years in prison at sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.
On May 22, 2019, Hudson-Crawford and his mother drove to the Berlin Police Department where he told investigators that 2 days earlier, he had been involved in a fight with his friend, Dehaven Nichols, and that Nichols had died as a result. Hudson-Crawford directed investigators to a tax ditch on the east side of Route 113 near the Decatur Apartments in Berlin, Maryland, where they located Nichols’ body. An autopsy determined that Nichols’ death was caused by a combination of multiple significant injuries, including blunt force trauma, strangulation and asphyxiation. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, Berlin Police Department and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office all assisted with the investigation.
State’s Attorney Heiser will issue an additional statement on the matter only after sentencing has concluded.