Judge denies Crolley’s bond

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Teen accused in ex-girlfriend’s shooting death to remain in jail

By Denyse Clark

 The mood was tense in Lancaster County Courtroom B on Tuesday morning, Feb. 25, where a bond hearing was held for Tanner Crolley, charged in the Dec. 30, 2013, shooting death of his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend Sierra Landry.


Landry’s parents, Robert and Jessica Landry, were flanked by family and friends who earlier had marched peacefully in front of the courthouse with signs that read, “Deny His Bond!” and “Don’t Let Him Walk Away to Kill Another Day.”

Landry’s family said their prayers were answered when 13th Circuit Court Judge Robin Stilwell said, “Bond is denied.”

“Justice is served,” Jessica Landry said. “We got exactly what we came here to get.”

Her husband agreed wholeheartedly.

“Now we can sleep at night. We don’t have to worry about him roaming the streets at night,” he said. “With all this, she (Sierra) doesn’t have a voice, but she has a voice through us.”

Crolley, 18, was arrested Dec. 31, 2013, and is charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Deputies found Landry’s body in a yard after responding to a home in the 1400 block of John Everall Road shortly after 10 p.m. Dec. 30. She was dead when deputies arrived.

At Tuesday’s bond hearing, Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield’s opening statements included Crolley’s pending criminal domestic violence charge against Landry and a burglary charge. 

Barfield said Crolley was given a $20,000 personal recognizance bond for the March 2013 burglary he committed with Sierra Landry at her parents’ home. 

Crolley, Barfield said, violated that bond’s house arrest order which stipulated that he exhibit good behavior and have no contact with her family. 

“We don’t think he is a good candidate for a bond,” Barfield said.

Mike Lifsey, chief public defender for Lancaster County, is representing Crolley. 

Lifsey asked Stilwell to release Crolley on “a surety bond of a significant amount of money and home monitoring.“ 

“He is 18 years old, he’s lived in Lancaster his whole life,” Lifsey said of his client. “He is no flight risk, all his ties are here … he has a lot of family who care about him.”

Lifsey pointed out support from Crolley’s family – parents, grandparents, aunts and friends – who attended the  hearing and said Crolley’s former employer would possibly hire him back. 

“At this point, those (the CDV and burglary) are just allegations,” Lifsey said. “Nothing’s been proven. Another circuit court judge heard it and gave a personal recognizance bond.”

Barfield gave the judge the following account of events that led up to Landry’s death. He said the two (Crolley and Sierra Landry) were “an on-again, off-again couple.”

About 5:30 p.m. Dec. 30, Crolley and a friend picked up Landry from her friend’s house, he said. 

Then about 9:30 that night, he said the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, received a call that someone had been shot and left in a yard at a John Everall Road home. 

“He (Crolley) admitted shooting the victim in the face with a 9mm weapon,” Barfield said. “He (Crolley) said he threw the gun in the woods. The gun has not been found.”

Barfield said Crolley called his mother after the shooting and also called law enforcement officers to tell them he was at Lloyd’s, a convenience store at the intersection of Monroe Highway (S.C. 200) and John Everall Road.

“He (Crolley) admitted he had (expletive) up,” Barfield said, in quoting Crolley’s remarks at the time. “There was Facebook traffic with veiled threats. He (Crolley) said, ‘If she doesn’t want to be with me, she won’t be with anyone else.’”

Barfield and Lifsey asked the judge to allow family members to speak in favor or denial of the bond. 

“This is a non-adjudication case, not a final disposition,” Stilwell said. “It’s not necessary for me to hear from a good number of people. If there are one or two people who feel they have something salient to say about a bond, I will hear that.”

Barfield and Lifsey conferred with the respective families and then spoke on their behalf.

Stilwell said due to the nature of Crolley’s charges, as well as risk to the community and flight risk, he was denying the bond. 

Lisa Lewis of Rock Hill, who protested with Landry’s family before the bond hearing, said Crolley needs to stay in jail.

“I feel for his (Crolley’s) family because I know parents don’t have a lot of say so over their children, but I feel he needs to be in jail,” she said. “I think he needs to stay in jail, otherwise other kids will think it’s OK.”


Contact reporter Denyse Clark at (803) 283-1152