2:50 PM

Cheryl Crawford (mug shot SCSO)

One of three people charged with murder in connection to the 2012 disappearance of Carl Anderson has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Cheryl Christine Crawford, 44, had been facing second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges in connection to Carl Anderson's death, but made a surprise plea today to two counts of tampering with physical evidence in the man's murder.  In exchange for her guilty plea, the state dropped the murder and armed criminal action charges against Crawford.

Anderson went missing from Teri Dean-Morrison's home near Hootentown in February of 2012. His charred dismembered remains were recovered near a pond on property belonging to Dean-Morrison's employer and former boyfriend near Kimberling City several weeks later.

Carl Anderson

"I do believe she helped clean up the house after the murder and helped dispose of the body, but I don't don't believe she had direct involvement in the murder," said Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby.

Selby says he expects Crawford to testify at the upcoming murder trials of Teri Dean-Morrison and Eugene Crider.

Dean-Morrison, whose case was moved to Jasper County,  is scheduled to stand trial for murder next year.  Crider's trial, which was moved to Newton County, is scheduled to begin in November.

Crider's girlfriend, Krystal Buras, of Spring, Texas, who is charged with tampering with physical evidence is scheduled for a bench trial in December.

Crawford was sentenced to two four year terms for each of the tampering convictions. Those sentences were ordered to be served consecutive to each other.