A woman from Hootentown entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder and two counts of tampering with evidence for her part in the 2012 murder of a man from Highlandville just as her trial was set to begin today.
Carl Anderson was last seen February 23rd at a gathering at Dean-Morrison's home at 263 Akita Run near Hootentown. Dean-Morrison told deputies she dropped 46 year-old Anderson off at his home near Highlandville. Carl's mother, Ruby Stutesman, told investigators that wasn't true and she filed a missing person's report on her son on February 25th.
Investigators found signs of a struggle inside Teri's
When Eugene Crider, 45, entered an Alford plea to second
Selby says a fight over an eight-ball of meth led to Anderson's murder. Dean Morrison believed that Anderson stole the meth from her earlier that day and hid it in a storage shed on his mother's property.
Cheryl Crawford, who lived with Dean-Morrison, says Anderson was being beaten when she returned home from an outing. Dean-Morrison demanded the
Armed with the combination Crawford drove Dean-Morrison to Ruby's property. Surprised that someone other than her brother was in the shed, his sister Vicky Lewallen made note of the event and helped the women open the door.
Lewallen says she saw Teri grab what appeared to be an "eight ball" of methamphetamine from a shelf in the shed. Crawford says that Teri wasn't satisfied with the amount of meth recovered and when she got back to her house Teri began yelling at Anderson, who was lying injured on the living room floor, and demanded that he answer her questions.
Selby says an argument over money may have boiled over as well and that Crider, who was holding an ax handle, began beating Anderson with it. Cheryl Crawford left.
When Cheryl met up with Teri later that night Dean-Morrison told her that they needed to pick up
The trio then loaded Anderson's body into Crawford's van and drove his remains to the property of Dean-Morrison's employer and former boyfriend Earl Kearney. There they burned the body and scattered the remains around the vast property. It was in a pond on the property that investigators found Anderson's charred liver.
As part of Dean-Morrison's plea agreement (an Alford plea is one in which the defendant does not admit guilt but agrees the state probably has enough evidence to secure a conviction) the state agreed to not seek more than 23 years when she is sentenced. That date is yet to be determined.
Federal charges of felon in possession of a firearm that were filed against Dean-Morrison are expected to be dismissed, according to Selby.
"I think it's a fair a good resolution," said Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby. "She's going to be in prison a long time."
"We were ready and we would have loved to try Teri's case, but this deal was in her best interests given her circumstances," said defense attorney Kristin Jones.
Eugene Crider was sentenced to life in prison last week for his role in Anderson's "senseless" murder.
Cheryl Crawford pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with evidence and was sentenced to eight years.
Eugene Crider's girlfriend, Krystal Buras, who was also charged with felony tampering, was placed on probation after she pled guilty to amended misdemeanor charges of tampering.