'Death ray' defendants face judge

Updated: 01/22/2014 9:50 PM
Created: 01/22/2014 5:48 PM WNYT.com
By: Abigail Bleck

ALBANY -- After entering a plea of not-guilty Wednesday morning, it was back to jail for Glendon Scott Crawford.  The 49-year-old has been behind bars since June when a 14-month undercover FBI investigation came to light.

Authorities maintain Crawford, a one-time GE employee, was building what's been labeled a "Hiroshima on a light switch."  The FBI says it was tipped off to the portable X-Ray device after Crawford approached local Jewish organizations asking for help using it to kill Muslims.

At the time of his arrest, Crawford's defense attorney described the Galway man as a Navy veteran and deacon at his church.  The FBI contends the engineer is a Ku Klux Klan member and if convicted on the three felony charges, could face life in prison. 

During a different appearance Wednesday, the accomplice in the death ray case pleaded guilty.  Co-defendant Eric Feight admitted to the felony charge of providing material to support terrorists.

The 55-year-old from Columbia County built what was, essentially, a remote car starter so the portable radiation machine could be operated safely from a distance. 

According to Feight's attorney, once Feight became fully aware of Crawford's plans, he stalled in handing over the remote control. 

Feight has not been asked to testify against Crawford, but that could occur before his May sentencing -- where he faces time served to 15 years in prison. 

Loved ones for both men attended Wednesday's appearances.  Crawford's wife and her two friends were in court. Feight's daughter, wife and in-laws attended his proceeding.


Broken Clouds
83° | 61°
  • Feels like: 81° F
  • Wind: S 13mph
  • Humidity: 66%