BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — A Morgan County jury has convicted a man of all charges, including first-degree murder, and has recommended no mercy in connection with the 2019 death of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter.
Andy McCauley, Jr., 43, was found guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder, concealment of a body and death of a child by a custodian by child abuse. Riley Crossman, 15, was found dead near an embankment in Berkeley County after she went missing in May 2019.
The prosecution’s final witness before the jury deliberated a no mercy penalty was the victim’s father Lance Crossman who gave an emotional plea to keep McCauley behind bars for life.It took the jury about four hours over the course of two days to reach a verdict. The trial lasted a week and included testimony from Crossman’s family members, friends, DNA experts, doctors, law enforcement and others.
“She will forever be 15 years old to us,” Crossman said. “In 15 years, he may eligible for parole. She only got 15 years. That’s all she had.”
Crossman broke down crying saying his daughter was shown no mercy on May 8, 2019, the day she was murdered.
“Where was the mercy when he walked into her room where she’s supposed to feel safe? Where’s the mercy when he attacked her? Where’s the mercy when he put her in a trash bag an dumped her off the side of the road like garbage?” he asked.
Morgan County Prosecutor Dan James, also wiping tears from his eyes, said during the mercy part of his closing arguments Crossman’s family will forever live with the pain of losing her.
“This time of year, she would be a senior at Berkeley Springs High School. She would be getting ready to move on to the next phase of her life. They’ll never have that opportunity. They will never see their daughter again,” James said.
James said McCauley went into Crossman’s bedroom and suffocated her with a pillow that contained DNA evidence of Crossman’s blood and saliva.
“Andy McCauley knew exactly what he had done to her. He knew exactly where her body was. Her mother and her mother spent that time agonizing, holding out hope and prayer that maybe Riley would walk through that door,” James said.
Crossman’s boyfriend, who is identified as H.L. in court documents, testified about the last conversation he had with with Crossman, which included a text message she sent him that read, “Andy is in my room… I’m scared.”
Throughout the trial, defense attorney Daniel Kirkland argued that prosecutors failed to identify a motive or a cause of death. The state Medical Examiner’s Office said Crossman’s cause of death could not be determined due to decomposition.
Parts of Crossman’s body was found covered covered in dry wall. That same dry wall was spotted in McCauley’s green pick-up truck.
McCauley, wearing a face mask in court, remained emotionless during Tuesday’s verdict.
A crowd of supporters holding up “Justice for Riley” signs appeared to be relieved by the conviction.
“Riley was the type of child you hoped to have one day,” her father said. “She was kind, gentle, loving and full of life. Riley will be forever frozen in time, only living on in our memories now.”
McCauley faces life in prison. Sentencing is set for Nov. 4.
–By Carrie Houdesek