Lawrence police arrest suspect in connection with woman’s stabbing death

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Police have arrested a man in connection with the stabbing death of a 51-year-old woman in North Lawrence.

Julius Robert Beasley, 40, of Lawrence was detained for questioning Thursday morning a few hours after the woman was found in her tent with apparent stab wounds, according to police.

The woman, Chrystal or Crystal Marie White, was “a beloved daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, mother, and friend,” her sister, Angelina Cruz, wrote on a GoFundMe page that aims to raise funds for White’s celebration of life. (Sgt. Drew Fennelly of the Lawrence Police Department said the department was initially provided the spelling of “Crystal” without an H, but that state documents list her name with an H. The GoFundMe refers to her as “Crystal.”)

White was loved despite experiencing homelessness and battling the effects of trauma and mental illness, Cruz wrote on the GoFundMe page. Thursday, the day she died, was her 51st birthday.

“Her life mattered, and her loss has left a profound void in our hearts. We desire that this loss ultimately raises awareness about the urgent need for community action,” Cruz wrote.

Beasley was booked into the Douglas County jail Thursday morning “on unrelated warrants,” according to a news release from the Lawrence Police Department on Monday. Kansas Department of Corrections online records show that Beasley was listed as on post-release supervision in Douglas County as of Feb. 9, listed as “absconded” as of Feb. 19, and a warrant was issued for him Thursday.

“LKPD identified Beasley as a person of interest in the immediate aftermath of the crime and quickly detained him, but with Beasley already being held in jail, investigators were able to more thoroughly investigate the incident prior to making an arrest,” according to the release.

“Investigators worked closely with the Douglas County District Attorney’s office throughout this investigation, and with the arrest made today, we now turn the case over to their office,” the news release stated.

Beasley was rebooked into the jail Monday on suspicion of first-degree murder and felony interference in connection with White’s death. The Douglas County DA’s office on Monday filed a case against Beasley charging him with both of those counts.

Beasley was being held without bond on the new case and the KDOC warrant, jail records indicated Monday. Court records did not yet list an attorney representing Beasley.

All arrestees and defendants in criminal cases should be presumed not guilty unless and until they are convicted.

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