Second arrest in murder case

July 14, 2003 12:00 am

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

A second person — a Calaveras County Mental Health Services employee — also faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of an Avery man found dead near White Pines Lake on July 6.

Carol Lou Stites, 44, lives with Arnold resident Arlin Crawford — who was booked Friday morning on suspicion of murdering Avery resident Bradford Lavelle Davis.

Stites was arrested at the Calaveras County Government Center at 1 p.m. Friday. Crawford, 39, was first arrested Wednesday on other charges at their home on Splash Dam Loop in the Mill Woods subdivision.

Stites was booked on suspicion of first-degree murder, being an accessory to murder, two counts of possessing a controlled substance, child endangerment and committing a felony while armed.

Crawford was booked last week on charges including first-degree murder, marijuana cultivation, child endangerment and possessing explosives.

Debbie Parsons, a Calaveras County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, said Stites was at the government center awaiting Crawford's arraignment hearing when she was arrested.

Although booked in Calaveras County, Stites was transferred to the Tuolumne County Jail in Sonora this morning in lieu of $1.2 million bail.

Parsons said Stites is being held in Tuolumne County "for her own safety," because of her position as a county mental health employee.

An autopsy showed that Davis, 53, died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Davis' longtime girlfriend reported him missing on July 3 after she discovered what she said was blood behind their home at the Safari Mobile Home Park in Avery.

His body was found under some bushes about a mile north of White Pines Lake, a few miles from where Crawford and Stites live.

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