SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of setting a house fire that killed his husband, a well-known Salt Lake City restaurateur, will remain in jail without bail after his attorneys postponed a hearing on the topic.
A Salt Lake City courtroom was packed Thursday with family members of victim John Williams, some of whom were set to testify for the prosecution about suspect Craig Crawford’s violent past.
But defense lawyer Mark Moffat instead told a judge that he needed more time to analyze a new batch of critical evidence submitted this week by the prosecution. A new hearing was set for Oct. 7.
Outside court, Williams’ niece Amy Zaharis, said they’re happy Crawford won’t be let out.
“He’s very dangerous,” said Zaharis about Crawford. “It’s very, very good news for everybody: for our family and for the city.”
Crawford, 47, is accused of setting the couple’s house on fire in May, shortly after his husband John Williams, 72, filed for divorce and unsuccessfully sought a restraining order. The couple had been together for about 20 years.
Authorities say Crawford went outside and watered the plants while his husband screamed for help during the fire.
Crawford could face the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder and arson charges. He has not yet entered a plea.
Williams was a well-known LGBT pioneer in Utah who owned the popular Market Street Grill and other restaurants.
Crawford’s attorneys were seeking bail of $500,000, saying in a court filing their client is not evil and the flight risk is exaggerated.
Prosecutors wanted bail at $10 million. They argued that Crawford’s brazen actions show he is a danger to the community and a flight risk.