Spencer Crawford gets four years for camping party slaying involving LSA and a machete

Update:Among the most shocking crimes of last June was the slaying of Angus Gaudin, age seventeen, at a raucous camping party in Nederland. Afterward, nineteen-year-old Spencer Crawford was charged with murder amid reports that he'd been on drugs when he'd stabbed Gaudin to death amid confusion over a machete. In the beginning, Crawford was charged with murder, but that was pleaded down to manslaughter -- and now, after compassionate words from Gaudin's bereft father, he's received a four-year sentence. Photos, video and details below.

Crawford had attended New Vista High School, as did numerous others at the get-together. The image above was originally shared on his Facebook page.

As for the photo to the left, it can be seen on Crawford's still-lingering Soundcloud page, with a cropped version also serving as his profile pic for a out-of-date Google page that lists his occupation as "PARTY!! ^_^" and includes a link to a rave website.

The good times didn't last on June 19. At around 3 a.m., as we've reported, Boulder County Sheriff's Office deputies and other emergency responders were called to the 5000 block of Ridge Road not far from Nederland on a report of a stabbing. There, they found Gaudin, who'd been stabbed to death. Crawford was subsequently arrested on suspicion of killing him.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Gaudin was a heavy-metal fan who often wore a trench coat and heavy boots. But his best friend tells the paper that behind this garb, Gaudin was "a really heartfelt, beautiful person with lots of love. He was one of the most accepting, loving, amazing people I ever met."

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Camera, an unknown number of the camping party took mushrooms and LSA, which is listed on Wikipedia under the term Ergine. The Wiki page notes that Ergine is thought to be "responsible for...psychedelic activity. However, this theory is debatable, as anecdotal reports suggest that the effects of synthetic LSA and iso-LSA are only slightly psychedelic."

Whatever the case, a reference to Gaudin's death was quickly added to the page under the heading "Known Fatalities" -- making Crawford something of a poster child for the dangers of LSA.

Additionally, Crawford and Gaudin are said to have consumed homemade whiskey they called moonshine.

Regarding Gaudin's death, one witness told investigators that he'd seen Crawford pull out a knife and thrust it into the teenager's chest. "You stabbed me," he quoted Gaudin as saying before he fell to the ground. However, Crawford told paramedics that he'd acted only after Gaudin had pulled out a machete and announced that he was going to "kill everyone."

His story was subsequently amended.

Continue for more about the sentencing of Spencer Crawford, including another photo and a video. In its most recent account, the Camera reports Crawford's claim that Gaudin had asked him to hide his machete to prevent him from using it to harm other party-goers -- but after doing so, "he obsessed over why Gaudin asked him to take it from him in the first place." Before long, Crawford had pulled a knife of his own and used it to stab Gaudin in the chest.

The flaw in this tale: The police report doesn't mention anything about a machete being found, suggesting that it could have a figment of Crawford's imagination.

By the way, when law enforcers arrived at the scene, Crawford tried but failed to run away -- naked.

Following his capture, Crawford was charged with first-degree murder, but by the time he entered a guilty plea in December, the count had been switched to manslaughter, plus felony drug distribution.

His agreement with prosecutors called for a possible sentence of between two and six years behind bars, and the judge tasked with determining the length of his punishment reportedly planned to impose the maximum punishment on this scale. But he was swayed by Gaudin's father, Steve, who attended the hearing. In his words, "Even though my family and I are still greatly suffering, we view Angus' death as an incredibly tragic accident. We ask you to be as lenient as possible with this sentencing today."

Hence Crawford's four-year sentence, supplemented by ten years probation for the drug beef to run concurrently with three years of probation for manslaughter. Also on his agenda: 200 hours of community service, to be spent speaking to teens about drugs and alcohol.

And what happened when he was using both. Here's a Daily Camera video from last year featuring Crawford's pals reacting to his arrest.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Photos: See latest light-rail attack's three suspects, who stabbed rather than robbed."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts