Man accused of killing his 18-month son, baby's grandmother


by staff & Tim Wetzel / KHOU 11 News

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 8:08 AM

WALKER COUNTY, Texas – Walker County deputies have arrested a suspect in the double murder case of an 18-month-old child and his grandmother.

Howard Wayne Lewis, 46, is accused of killing his young son and the toddler's maternal grandmother, 55-year-old Shanta Faye Crawford.

According to investigators, Lewis strangled the toddler and beat the boy's grandmother to death.

"It was a terrible crime scene," said Walker County Sheriff Clint McRae. "It was one that even those of us that have been doing this for a long time, we surely didn't want to be there."

The victims were found dead at their home located off Highway 30 just west of Huntsville on July 24. Aiyden Crawford was suffocated and Shanta Crawford was beaten to death, according to investigators.

Walker County Sheriff’s deputies were led to the home after Crawford’s husband came home from work and made the gruesome discovery. He made a frantic 911 call, then ran outside crying and flagged down a neighbor.

The toddler was at the center of a custody battle.

The boy’s mother, Tiffany Crawford, also lived at the home. She and her ex-husband were supposed to go to court this month in the custody case.

Tiffany Crawford is a prison guard at the Ellis Unit in Huntsville. Lewis was a prison guard in Dallas until recently.

Shanta Crawford was a former University of Texas Medical Branch medical worker in the Ellis Unit in Huntsville. She had just retired to help take care of her now-deceased grandson.

The Texas Rangers assisted Walker County with the investigation.