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Courtney is honored to serve the Tennessee Valley as a member of the WHNT News 19 Investigative Team by diligently working on reports that create awareness, fix problems, stop scams or simply improve life for the people in the community.

Courtney won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2017 for a documentary on the Downtown Rescue Mission. She was a part of a team of three that produced a 30-minute special on the help and healing that happens within the walls of the mission.

Courtney’s proudest moment so far is July 13, 2017. That is the day prosecutors dropped burglary charges against a man misidentified in a 2016 case. The man’s mother asked WHNT News 19 for help to prove her son’s innocence.

Courtney answered the call and worked countless hours over a four-month period to convince both the defense and the prosecution they had the wrong man. One day before her report aired, the assistant district attorney dropped the charges. She is now working with the man to get his charges expunged from his once-clean record.

Courtney fell in love with the South when she took her first job at WTVY in Dothan, AL. She began as an MMJ specifically covering the Florida Panhandle. During that time, Courtney won two Florida Associated Press Awards for Best Series Reporting and Best Hard News Feature. For Best Series Reporting, Courtney spoke one-on-one with present and former Florida prison inmates about their participation in re-entry programs. For Best Hard News Feature, she teamed up with a former co-worker for coverage of bodies being exhumed at the infamous Dozier School for boys in Marianna, Florida.

Courtney was born a Yankee in her small hometown of Coshocton, OH, but she feels she was born to be a Southerner.

Before heading to Alabama, she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Communications and a minor in Public Relations from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. During her college years, Courtney enjoyed co-hosting a morning radio talk show with her good friend, anchoring the college’s student-run weekly newscast, being a member of the Student Government Association Slate and spending time with her Alpha Gamma Delta sorority sisters.

When she isn’t reporting, she enjoys strengthening her faith, spending time with her sweet chocolate Labrador, Astro, and grabbing brunch with friends.

In addition to news tips, Courtney is always looking for ways to develop deeper roots in the community. If you have any suggestions, feel free to email her at courtney.crown@whnt.com, follow her on Twitter: @courtcrownwhnt, or add her on Facebook: Courtney Crown Whnt.

Recent Articles
  • Prison overcrowding pressures Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles to release more inmates

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. –┬á┬áMore than 20,000 people are behind bars in Alabama prisons. The Alabama Department of Corrections reported the facilities, collectively, are designed to hold half that many. WHNT NEWS 19 continues digging deeper into the state’s parole board while Jimmy O’Neal Spencer, a parolee and now capital murder suspect, awaits his trial. Spencer is the suspect in the July 13 murders of Marie Martin, her seven-year-old great-grandson Colton Lee, and her neighbor Martha Reliford. Franklin County District Attorney […]

  • Franklin County District Attorney ‘shocked’ after seeing news of Spencer’s arrest, thought he was still in prison

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. – Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing was not the person on the job when Jimmy O’Neal Spencer was convicted of burglary, three times, in his county. But, he certainly knew of him. “He ended up being shot when he was going into a home of an individual,” Rushing said. “He actually had to shoot him to prevent him from going into the home.” Spencer was in prison on sentences that totaled “life plus 67 years.” The […]

  • No board requirement to tell victims, district attorney about Spencer’s parole hearing based on burglary convictions

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — WHNT News 19 learned the reason the Franklin County District Attorney and Jimmy O’Neal Spencer’s burglary victims were not entitled to a notification for the November 2, 2017 parole hearing. Article 4 of the board’s Rules, Regulations and Procedures states “the Victims Unit shall have the primary responsibility for identifying and locating these individuals the Board is required by law to exercise due diligence to locate – victims of homicides, class A felonies, excluding Burglary I where […]

  • Defense attorney blasts Huntsville for using tax dollars to fund police officer’s criminal case

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Seasoned Defense Attorney Bruce Gardner blasted the city for using the community’s tax dollars to fund Huntsville Police Officer William Benjamin Darby’s defense. Darby, 25, was charged with murder, and indicted by a┬áMadison County grand jury, in the┬ákilling of 49-year-old Jeffery Louis Parker at ParkerÔÇÖs home. At Battle’s urging at Thursday’s meeting, the city council agreed to give Darby up to $75,000 for his defense. Battle said he is willing to spend as much taxpayer money as […]

  • Retired parole officer says supervising officer should have kept closer eye on Guntersville triple murder suspect

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A retired Alabama probation and parole officer said he does not know how Spencer specifically slipped through the cracks, but said that officer should have obviously checked in with Spencer to know where he was after he left his court-mandated rehabilitation program. Our Taking Action investigation confirmed Jimmy O’Neal Spencer did not tell his state prison parole officer where he was before someone murdered three people in Guntersville, a case Spencer is now charged in. This week, […]

  • State says it didn’t know Guntersville triple murder suspect left halfway house early

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. –┬áThe head of Alabama’s parole board says they didn’t know a triple murder suspect left the halfway house he was paroled to after getting out of prison early. Jimmy O’Neal Spencer had been allowed to leave prison early if he completed the transitional program at a Birmingham halfway house, but he left Feb. 13 and never told his supervising parole officer. “As with any Parolee or Probationer under supervision with the Board of Pardons and Paroles, his supervising […]

  • Guntersville triple murder suspect arrested in Etowah County one month before crimes

    ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. –┬áSardis City Police charged Guntersville Triple Murder Suspect Jimmy O’Neal Spencer after they said he took checks from Guntersville First Baptist Church, stole from 1st Super Store Beverages on Highway 431 and led police on a foot chase. During an interview Tuesday, the arresting officer said a background check after the arrest showed nothing. Chief James Harp and Officer Keith Beaird protect the small town of Sardis. On Thursday, June 14, Beaird went to the ABC store […]

  • Huntsville police officer charged with murder

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A Huntsville Police Department officer has been indicted on a murder charge stemming from on-duty shooting in April on Deramus Avenue. Police confirmed Darby was relieved of his patrol duties immediately after the shooting. He is working in an “administrative capacity” until his day in court. William Benjamin Darby, who graduated the HPD police academy in July 2016, was indicted by a Madison County grand jury in the killing of 49-year-old Jeffery Louis Parker at ParkerÔÇÖs home.┬á […]

  • Warning: Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, DA’s office says old jail videos circulating online

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – More disturbing videos from the Marshall County jail are circulating online, but the sheriff’s office and the chief investigator from the district attorney’s office said many of the videos were recorded before the shakedown on July 11. An anonymous viewer sent video to WHNT News 19 over the weekend. It showed inmates fighting, recording on cell phones and one man carrying a large rod. The footage is troubling because it appears the rod could be used as […]

  • ‘By no means a murderer:’ Authorities express different opinions on Huntsville officer’s murder charge

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Respect for the role Huntsville Police Officers play in this community is not in question, but not everyone agrees the actions Officer William Benjamin Darby is accused of taking in April 2018 were justified. Officer Darby’s defense attorney, Robert Tuten, acknowledged his respect for the men and women in blue right after the indictment came down. “It’s a service, a profession, and they’re there to help and serve, and help society,” Tuten said. Madison County District Attorney […]

  • Guntersville triple murder suspect walked away from court-mandated program after early release

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Police say a man charged with killing three people in Guntersville was on the streets in their city instead of in Birmingham at the facility the state sent him to. We are still working to uncover who was responsible for keeping track of Jimmy O’Neal Spencer, the┬áGuntersville triple murder suspect, after his release from prison.┬áThe Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed it is up to the board of pardons and paroles to ensure a person is not violating […]

  • Parole board thought Guntersville murder suspect was unlikely to commit more crimes

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – A man, whose sentences could have kept him in prison for life plus 67 years, is now charged with the murder of three people in Guntersville on July 13. The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles approved to let Jimmy O’Neal Spencer out of prison in November but was released in January, according to records. People across the state are confused and angry about the board’s decision to grant Spencer parole on November 2, 2017. He was […]