Slain mom’s family feels justice system has failed them again
WAGENER, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been eight months since an Aiken County mother disappeared.
Her ex-boyfriend and his son are now charged with her murder. We are learning the son charged with accessory to murder is no longer required to wear an ankle monitor.
“I don’t know what happened with Aiken County, but it’s like we fell through the cracks,” said Shadira Smothers, Anderson’s sister.
Krystal Anderson went missing, last seen outside her home in August 2022. Her boyfriend’s car was found burned in a wooded area, and her remains have yet to be found.
After we dug deeper and pressed Aiken County for answers, Tony Berry was arrested and charged with her disappearance. His son, Darius Berry, was arrested as an accessory to murder.
The family feels like this has been an injustice all along. A judge refused to set a bond for Tony. The judge did allow Darius to be out on bond with the condition he wear an ankle monitor.
Anderson’s family feels Tony nor his son cooperated with the investigation.
“I feel like they owe us. I feel like they owe us so much more. You never can bring a life back,” said Smothers.
Her family says they remain in a state of grief, disbelief, and shock, all while trying their best to take care of Anderson’s four children.
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“My biggest fear, is I don’t want my sister’s stories to fall between the cracks for one. I don’t want anyone to walk around thinking that they have gotten away with this,” she said.
The latest development in the case leaves the sister feeling one suspect is getting to walk freely now.
“I received a call from the solicitor. Well, first of all, the bond hearing was like two weeks ago, and we were given the impression that the judge will make a decision in one day. Here we are two weeks later,” she said.
In March, Darius requested a motion to amend his bond. In April, court documents show Darius told the judge he is not a danger to the community or a flight risk.
He says he did not violate the terms of his bond, and he’s helping law enforcement in the investigation into his co-defendant by providing multiple statements since he was arrested in December. Darius is also expecting his first child in May and told the judge he couldn’t afford to pay for the ankle monitor.
“I think is a total slap in the face because we have experienced so many financial hardships. I feel as though $75 a week should actually go to my sister’s children. But I don’t have that type of control. For him to even have a choice is very disappointing,” said Smothers.
And that they will never get the punishment they deserve.
“By them, allowing this, Krystal is not going to be the last person that will be murdered by the hands of an abuser. There are no real consequences for what they’re doing,” she said.
Leaving an open wound for a family who needs their mother, sister, daughter, and friend.
“In August, we are probably going to do a memorial, regardless of where we are in the case. At this point, it’s just time to, you know, give my sister some type of peace,” said Smothers.
Darius is to return to Orangeburg County where he lives and is not allowed to be in Aiken County while on bond except for court appearances and meetings with his attorney.
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