OCEAN CITY -- A little over a month after Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler filed a motion seeking to dismiss Erika Sifrit’s latest appeal, the convicted killer who, along with her husband Benjamin Sifrit, brutally murdered and dismembered a couple vacationing in Ocean City in 2002, has renewed her attempt at a new trial.
In March, Erika Sifrit, now 34, filed a petition seeking an overturn of her prior convictions and sentences and a renewed bid for a new trial, citing, among other things, her defense counsel’s failure to fully explore her history of mental illness and her emotional dependence on her husband at the time of the heinous crimes. In 2003, Erica Sifrit was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Joshua Ford and second-degree murder in the death of Martha Crutchley and was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years.
The Sifrits lured Crutchley and Ford back to their Ocean City condo on Memorial Day weekend in 2002 after spending the evening with them at a resort nightclub before brutally murdering them and dismembering their bodies, parts of which were found in a Delaware landfill nine days later. The couple was caught during a botched burglary attempt at a north end restaurant nearly a week later and a trail of evidence led investigators to the scene of the murders. In the years since, Sifrit has filed numerous appeals and has been denied at each turn. Her latest appeal was filed in federal court in March and seeks an overturn of the convictions and a new trial.