Gaston Co. restaurant deaths spark man who fatally stabbed daughters to speak out from prison

(Archive photo of David Crespi)
(Archive photo of David Crespi)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Gaston County man is facing charges after officials say he intentionally drove his vehicle into a Gaston County restaurant Sunday, killing several members of his family who were inside.

Roger Self is accused of intentionally driving into Bessemer City Surf and Turf killing his daughter, 26-year-old Katelyn Self, and daughter-in-law, Amanda Self. Roger's wife and son were critically injured in the crash as well.

Other family members including several grandchildren, another daughter and in-laws were at the table when the crash happened. None of them were severely injured.

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During a press conference Monday morning, Self's pastor - Austin Rammell from Venture Church - said this was not the Roger Self that he knew.

Rammell said Self suffered from severe depression and severe anxiety.

"And by severe, I mean severe," Rammell said. "He has walked with people through some of the darkest times imaginable. What happened yesterday was a testimony of mental illness."

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"He had shared with me that he was on some anti-depressant and he had shared with me that he had been given some sort of anxiety medicine," Rammell said Monday. "And he shared with me that he was taking them. So I imagine that will be part of the investigation. That will come out on whether he actually was and what all that was."

That sparked a man who was at the center of another tragedy in the Charlotte-area to call WBTV from behind bars.

David Crespi was a Charlotte banker in 2006 when he called 911 and told the operator he had killed his twin 5-year-old daughters inside their Matthews home. From the beginning, Crespi and his wife Kim blamed the murders on a 'medication induced psychosis' brought on by a cocktail of medications Crepsi had recently been prescribed.

He pleaded guilty to the murders to avoid the death penalty and is now serving two life sentences in prison.

When he heard the reports about what happened in Bessemer City Sunday, he called WBTV's Maureen O'Boyle.

"That medication altered who I was and makes people, some people, psychotic and compulsive," Crespi said on the phone. "I know some [people] are helped. I am not trying to tell people to get off, you have to be so careful because doctors need to be involved but people need to do their own research."

He said other inmates who know his situation have mentioned the Roger Self case.

"People have been talking about it to me and I'm just so sorry for everyone involved and the ripples of this tragedy," he said. "We don't know what happened and we have to be so careful, It's eerie to me and I always wonder the role medications may have played in something like this."

"I wouldn't want to be inflammatory, he continued. "I don't know this man's history but we can be prematurely medicating people for them, not everyone. But for them, it may not be the best way."

Crespi was the medication to cope with sleeplessness, depression and anxiety. Crespi and his family have grappled with the same questions our community asks today. How could the person they know and love be capable of this?

"It's been over 12 years since that horrible day. I look at pictures of my daughters every day and I think about the people impacted," Crespi said. "And we know what happened in my case, and experts know what happened in my case. It's just a tragedy."

"I'm not mentally ill, I was never mentally ill. I was mis-medicated," he continued. "I hope will get addressed and we'll look at things in a balanced and fair way, but it's hard when we're hurting. My prayers for everyone involved."

Investigators in the Roger Self case have not released a motive, and Self is being held without bond, charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

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