BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (WDVM) — It took a Morgan County jury about four hours to decide that Andrew McCauley, Jr. should spend the rest of his life behind bars for the 2019 murder of 15-year-old Riley Crossman of Berkeley Springs.
“Law enforcement in this case, they never rested,” said Daniel M. James, Morgan County prosecuting attorney. “They were working 20, sometimes 24, hours a day. Barely getting any sleep.”
McCauley was the boyfriend of Riley’s mother. Crossman’s body was found on a roadside a week after she disappeared. Police found video surveillance of McCauley’s vehicle near the site of the body, contractor screws by the body from McCauley’s worksite, trash bags at the scene of the corpse from Crossman’s worksite and a drywall compound on the body from McCauley’s truck.
James said the work of the West Virginia State Police, F.B.I. and Morgan County’s Sheriff’s Department helped bring about the conviction.
“Today for the first time ever, the family has gotten a glimpse of the justice they’ve been wanting, in this case, the last two-and-a-half years and we’re extremely sorry for their loss,” James said.
The jury convened Monday at 1:30, and by 5 p.m., decided to resume deliberations Tuesday morning. Within minutes they advised the judge McCauley should be convicted for first-degree murder without mercy, death of a child by custodian abuse and concealment of a body.
By convicting without mercy, McCauley is ineligible for parole. Judge Debra McLaughlin will formally sentence McCauley on November 4.
Testimony from Crossman’s mother told of how it was unusual for Riley to leave for school without saying good morning, unusual for her not to text frequently on the morning of her disappearance but unsettling to learn Riley was not in school the morning following McCauley’s visit to her home.
Classmates of Riley were at the courthouse Tuesday morning for the sentencing. She would have graduated high school this spring.
“She was a kind and loving person,” said Hailee Lewis, one of Riley’s classmates. “She would do anything in the community for everybody else. So that’s why we’re sitting here supporting her.”
“I think we just graduate together and stick together as a class and have Riley in our remembrance,” said Abby Heironimus, another one of Riley’s classmates.
“It’s been a long couple years,” said Ami Lewis, a parent of Crossman’s classmate. “We were there searching for Riley every single day.”
Formal sentencing is scheduled for November 4. Under West Virginia law, when McCauley is sentenced — because it was a capital conviction — he is ineligible for parole.