Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police: Brother misled investigators in St. Petersburg officer's death

ST. PETERSBURG — The day after Officer David S. Crawford was shot and killed in the line of duty, police had a suspect in custody: 16-year-old Nicholas Lindsey.

But that afternoon, during the largest manhunt in city history, Lindsey's brother gave police a false alibi for his younger sibling, according to new records released Wednesday by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office.

Anthony Sweat, 19, told investigators his brother did not leave their home at the Citrus Grove apartments the night of Feb. 21, when Crawford died on a downtown street corner a half-mile away.

Sweat told St. Petersburg detectives that he, Lindsey and some friends were playing video games at home that night, records show.

Detective Rodney Tower spotted a lie. Earlier that day, Nicholas Lindsey's mother, Deneen Sweat, told investigators that both her sons left home early that evening, and that Nicholas was not home until after 10:30 p.m. — about the time of the shooting. Later, the mother would prove instrumental in helping police obtain what they say is a confession from her son.

Then Quoshonna Scott, a young woman Anthony Sweat said was also with the brothers that night, denied being there as well, according to records.

Anthony Sweat has previously told the St. Petersburg Times that he was shocked and saddened by his brother's behavior.

Lindsey was charged, as an adult, with first-degree murder in Crawford's death. The trial is set to begin Dec. 12.

The documents also included Crawford's autopsy report, which shows that the 46-year-old officer was shot five times — four times in the upper torso and once in the lower back, according to the medical examiner's report.

Crawford was not wearing his protective vest that night, and police have not explained why. Police policy requires bullet-resistant vests to be worn only in high-risk situations.

Six shell casings from Crawford's .40-caliber Glock were also found at the scene. Police say the officer fired his weapon after being shot, but did not hit his assailant.

Also included in the report is a time line of the nearly five hours Lindsey and his family spent at police headquarters before his arrest. The records show that detectives interviewed Lindsey for an hour total, and that his parents spent 30 minutes with the teen.

Parts of those interviews, including what police say is Lindsey's confession, were videotaped. Lindsey's defense attorney argued in court Tuesday that police are withholding additional video footage of his client. Prosecutors denied it.

The murder weapon has still not been found. Police believe the teen bought the gun on the street for $140.

Luis Perez can be reached at or (727) 892-2271.

Police: Brother misled investigators in St. Petersburg officer's death 06/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 9, 2011 8:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  2. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police


    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  3. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of
  4. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  5. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]