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Crouch charged with failing to appear

(ran PW, PS editions)

Jeffrey Crouch, the Port Richey shrimper once accused of killing his wife and investigated by police in the death of his son, was arrested Saturday morning for failing to appear in court on a domestic battery charge. Sheriff's deputies arrested Crouch at his Port Richey home and took him to the Land O'Lakes jail. Crouch was arrested Jan. 28, 1987, after the body of his wife, Jean, was found on Green Key Beach. Pasco sheriff's detectives said Crouch confessed to them but recanted when a tape recorder was turned on to document the confession. Prosecutors dropped the case after a judge ruled the alleged confession couldn't be used in court. Crouch later sued the Sheriff's Office for $5-million, claiming wrongful arrest. In March 1994, he and the department settled for $225,000. Port Richey police have said either Crouch or his former girlfriend, Anna May Becker, could have killed Crouch's 20-month-old son, Travis, on Jan. 17, 1998, but have made no arrests.

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