Joseph Clayton Ralston, 39, and Chantell Renee Demi, 27, of Woodland are both accused of setting fire to the vehicle used to transport Anderson to a remote area of Pike Township where he was murdered.
Anderson, 19, was reported missing by his mother in August of 2017, but the investigation took a sad turn after Kenja Kasheem Tew, 23, allegedly made comments to witnesses that Anderson was “not coming back.”
Once Tew was in custody, he reportedly led police to Anderson’s burnt body in a wooded part of Pike Township.
Testimony at the preliminary hearing revealed that Tew and Denny Scott Bailey, 39, also of Woodland, lured Anderson to the remote area and then fought with him. Each of them claimed the other stabbed Anderson and burned the body.
They are both charged with criminal homicide, assault, kidnap to inflict terror, conspiracy and related offenses.
Anderson suffered multiple stab wounds, his throat was slit and his nose was fractured, according to testimony from former county coroner Mike Morris.
Ralston and Demi were ordered by Bailey to destroy the Ford Explorer and set it on fire using lighter fluid, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
In an interview with investigators, Ralston admitted that he was aware Tew and Bailey committed the murder before he and Demi burned the vehicle.
Ralston pleaded guilty Tuesday to arson/property exceeding $5,000 value and two counts of criminal conspiracy. He was sentenced by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to two to four years in state prison.
Ralston is cooperating with the Commonwealth in this case.
Demi was charged with four counts of criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence and in a second case with reckless burning, criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence.
She signed a plea agreement with the condition she cooperate with the case and is scheduled for sentencing in June.
Bailey’s case will be scheduled for trial first, possibly as soon as October with Tew’s case will being scheduled sometime after that, according to court personnel.
On Tuesday Ralston also pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance by inmate and was sentenced to 30 months to five years in state prison. The two sentences will run concurrently.
According to the affidavit in that case, a corrections officer at the jail found Ralston in possession of both methamphetamine and oxycodone.
In a third, unrelated case, he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. For this he received a period of concurrent probation.