Trial delayed for suspect in fiance’s murder

The trial has been delayed so the defense attorney can obtain another expert consultant.

The trial of a woman accused of stabbing her fiance to death last fall has been delayed until December so that the defense attorney can obtain another expert consultant.

Ilene M. Erwin, a 39-year-old Oak Harbor resident, is facing a charge of murder in the second degree, a domestic violence crime with a deadly weapons enhancement, in the Island County Superior Court case.

Erwin is accused of killing Ryan A. Crumal at a Crosby Avenue home during an island-wide power outage on Nov. 13, 2020.

Erwin’s attorney, Matt Montoya, previously obtained a judge’s approval of payment for services at public expense in order to hire a consultant at a maximum of $10,000.

Court documents indicate that Montoya planned on hiring April Gerlock, a Steilacoom-based expert who consultants on trauma-related and domestic violence forensic cases. She will provide an evaluation and possible testimony.

Erwin claimed she stabbed Crumal after he suddenly started beating her; she told police she was scared and she didn’t want him to hurt her again, the police report states. Erwin also told police she had previously been in an abusive relationship.

Erwin was wearing a mask in court after her arrest, but she appeared to have a very large contusion across her forehead.

Montoya didn’t indicate in court Monday any details about another expert consultation.

Documents obtained through a public-records request showed that Erwin had been convicted in a 2011 California case of stabbing a previous boyfriend, who was seriously injured but survived. She pleaded guilty to infliction of corporal injury on a spouse in that case and spent 140 days in prison.

Erwin is currently being held in Island County Jail on $500,000 bail.

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