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Slain restaurateur’s estranged husband pleads guilty to murder

Pool Photo, Al Hartmann

SALT LAKE CITY — The estranged husband of a well known Salt Lake restaurant owner pleaded guilty this morning to aggravated murder and aggravated arson.  Craig Crawford, 48, admitted to trapping 72-year old John Williams in his home in May of 2016 and setting it on fire.

Williams was found in the upper floor of the Capitol Hill home.  An autopsy concluded he died of smoke inhalation.

Williams had recently filed for divorce.

Crawford’s attorney, Jim Bradshaw, said his client wanted to plead guilty.

“He had extreme remorse for the horrible act he committed. He very much wants to accept responsibility and move forward with this,”  Bradshaw said.  “Because he wants to give closure to the family that he’s hurt so badly.”

With his plea, Crawford will avoid the death penalty.  But he could face either life in prison without parole, or a term of 25-years to life when he’s sentenced.