A teenager has been found guilty of murdering Winsford man Keagan Crimes.
Keagan Crimes, 27, died in the early hours of October 12, 2020 after sustaining serious injuries during an incident at Cheviot Square in Winsford.
A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of Keagan’s murder today (January 19) following a trial at Chester Crown Court.
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He pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon earlier on during the trial. He is due to be sentenced on February 21.
During the trial, the court heard how the teenager, who was aged 16 at the time, was in Cheviot Square on the evening of Sunday, October 11, 2020. He was armed with a weapon, believed to be a Rambo III knife, and was with a group of four other teens.
The group had come to Cheviot Square to seek out two men, who were inside the Premier Store, that the teen believed were part of another group of men that they were feuding with.
CCTV shown in the court saw that as the men attempted to leave the shop, the teenager and his group ran towards the premises to gain entry.
The defendant was seen armed with the Rambo knife, kicking, banging and pushing at the door while one of this gang was armed with a hammer smashing the glass door of the shop while the men attempted to hold it shut.
Eventually the group gained access to the shop causing the two men further inside the shop before escaping via the stock room door.
The 17-year-old and his associates re-grouped outside the shop and at this point, another group approached the teenager from the rear of the shop.
In the group was one of the men that had been chased through the shop by the teen, 27-year-old Keagan Crimes and Jason McQuoid.
As the two groups met, the four associates of the teen ran away but he remained, brandishing the knife towards the group that Keagan was part of.
At this point a fight broke out – it was early on in this fight when Keagan sustained a deep stab wound to the upper chest area.
Jason attempted to use a tree branch to swipe out at the teen but fell to the floor before he was stabbed in the left shoulder and chest area.
CCTV showed the defendant run into a nearby kebab shop where he remained inside for several minutes with the group gathered outside before he ran from the scene towards Bowland Rise with the weapon.
The knife was never seen again but the court heard from the 17-year-old that he’d hidden it along with his clothing and then returned to Winsford the following day to retrieve and bury it, also stating that he burnt his clothing.
A senior paramedic was first to arrive on the scene and found Keagan lying still and unresponsive on the ground with members of the public putting pressure on the wound.
The paramedic also became aware of Jason who was in a distressed state with slash wounds to his chest.
They were both taken to hospital but sadly, despite the best efforts of all involved, Keagan was pronounced dead at 1.25am on October 12, 2020.
A medical examination found that Keagan had lost an estimated 33 pints of blood from a single stab wound, which entered his heart near his left shoulder. Experts stated this would have required ‘severe force’ to inflict.
Jason was treated for his injuries and later discharged.
Following Keagan’s death an investigation was launched by the force’s Major Investigation Team.
As part of their ongoing enquiries detectives were able to piece together mobile phone data and CCTV images from the incident and following the attack.
These revealed that the teenager was at the scene and then after contacting his mother, she arranged for a taxi to collect him from the Cow Lane area of Winsford. The defendant’s sister travelled from Crewe in the taxi and accompanied him home. Forensic examination of the scene identified DNA, which was later attributed to the teenager.
After looking through the teenager’s phone, it was found that call logs from 11 October 2020 had been removed and that he had searched phrases such as ‘does blood wash off shoes’, Rambo III knives and guns.
The teenager was arrested on October 14, 2020 and later released on bail while enquiries progressed. In April 2021, he was re-arrested and, during interview, indicated that he had attended the scene with a knife with the intention of scaring off the group of boys and had acted in self-defence.
He was bailed for a second time and, on June 21, 2021, was subsequently charged with Keagan’s murder, section 18 wounding with intent in relation to Jason. He was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
Two other boys (then aged 15 and 16) were also charged with affray in relation to the incident. They were dealt with at an earlier hearing on July 21, 2021. Both were sentenced to 12 month intensive Youth Referral Order.
Detective Inspector Adam Waller, who led the investigation, said: “Firstly our thoughts remain very much with Keagan’s family during what has been an incredibly difficult time for them.
“They have had to sit patiently through a three-week trial at court listening to lots of harrowing evidence and re-living what happened that night. It has not been an easy process for them and I hope that, in some way, today’s verdict helps to bring about a degree of closure for them.
“Throughout the investigation the teenager has shown no remorse for Keagan’s death or the injuries he inflicted upon Jason McQuoid.
“Until he gave evidence he has never admitted where he disposed of the knife that was used to kill Keagan and seriously injure the other two men and he even searched for news of the killing online.
“From the outset he has done everything he can to cover his tracks and dispose of evidence
“I also want to thank members of the community of Winsford as we very much relied upon information and evidence from them in securing this conviction and getting justice for Keagan.
“This has been a challenging and lengthy investigation, and a dedicated team of detectives have been painstakingly piecing together what happened that night and ensuring that vital evidence was seized, recorded and used in court.
“It was only after this weight of evidence was put in front of the defendant did he take any responsibility for Keagan’s death.
“I would like to thank everyone who has worked on this case for their hard work and efforts in helping to secure a conviction.”