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Family of Lynchburg woman killed speaks after defendant’s sentencing

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - This past Saturday would have been Cansas Crotts’ 27th birthday.

Crotts was killed in September 2020 in her home along Pocahontas Street in Lynchburg. Shortly after her killing, her boyfriend Kevin O’Neal Allen was charged with her death.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder earlier this year and was handed down a 45-year active prison sentence Wednesday.

“I feel like there’s some justice. I don’t think there’ll ever be fully anything justified,” said Melanie Hill, Crotts’ mother.

Hill says her life has forever changed. She has many memories of her daughter, including the kind of person she was.

“She was outgoing. She was free-spirited. Pretty girl, really pretty,” said Hill.

Cansas’ father Jackie Crotts echoes many of those same sentiments.

“She was just very outgoing and she was loved by many. She kind of a free spirit. She never met a stranger,” said Crotts.

The sentencing for Allen will help him feel some relief moving forward.

“I’m glad this part is behind us. It’s kind of the first steps of healing to know that we won’t have to deal with him probably most of our lives,” said Crotts.

But it doesn’t mean full closure for this family.

“I just don’t think there’ll ever be any full closure,” said Hill.

Crotts was pregnant when she was killed and leaves four children. The family says they’re doing everything they can to love and support them.

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