GANT: Jurors Hear Lengthy Recording of State Police Interview with Accused Killer

CLEARFIELD CO., Pa. (GANT) – Wednesday jurors heard a lengthy audio recording of a police interview with Denny S. Bailey, 41, who is accused in the brutal 2017 murder of Chase Anderson, 19, of Curwensville.

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Bailey is charged by Clearfield state police with criminal homicide, conspiracy-criminal homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy-aggravated assault, kidnapping and conspiracy-kidnapping.

Additionally, he is charged with simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, tampering with evidence and abuse of corpse.

Trooper David Patrick was recalled to the witness stand Wednesday and prosecutors played a one-hour and 45-minute recording from a Sept. 19, 2017 state police interview with Bailey.

During the interview, which was requested by Bailey, he said he and Kenja Tew, now 26, had plans to lure Anderson to the wooded area in Pike Township the night of Aug. 14, 2017.

While Anderson posed as “no threat” to him personally, Bailey said Tew was furious with Anderson for having “snitched” on him for a third time, which resulted in a felony arrest warrant for burglary.

“Plans were to beat the [expletive] out of him, not kill him,” Bailey said. “I didn’t want the kid to die … just to beat him up – you know, black an eye or something.

“I didn’t even want to hurt him bad – like put him in the hospital – just enough to scare him. Then, leave him in the woods to walk home to Curwensville. That’s what I thought anyways.”

Beforehand he said he told Anderson outrageous things like they were going for a 10-ounce package of meth and the guys they were meeting would have guns, but they didn’t need to take any.

This, he said, was his way of giving Anderson a chance to say “no, I’m not going,” because he (Bailey) knew he’d hit Anderson hard and that Tew was a reputable fighter.

Bailey said once they got out in the woods, Tew put Anderson in a sleeper hold and he struck Anderson with a pair of brass knuckles. This cut Anderson open.

He said it didn’t faze Anderson and when Tew let go, Anderson was mad and hit him (Bailey). Then, Bailey said, Anderson hit him again and after a tussle threw him into a large briar bush.

He said Tew and Anderson exchanged words before Tew stabbed him (Anderson) three or four times in the chest. Bailey said he “went out” and woke to Tew pouring gas on him (Bailey).

Bailey said he asked Tew what he was doing and he made the comment: “Oh, I thought you were dead, too.” “That’s when I knew Chase was dead.”

Bailey said he had a can of gasoline in his vehicle that night, and Tew must have gone back for it at some point so he could try to burn Anderson’s body.

Afterwards, he said Tew asked him to help clean up and they attempted to move Anderson’s body under a tree but couldn’t because he was too heavy.

Bailey said once they got back home, they cleaned up and burned their clothes. He said he also buried the weapons in a wooded area behind his residence and wiped down his vehicle with bleach.

Bailey initially wasn’t very forthcoming with troopers about what happened to his Ford Explorer, the suspect vehicle he and Tew used the night in question.

But eventually he admitted to instructing Chantell R. Demi, his girlfriend at the time, to have someone help her destroy it, which she allegedly did.

Towards the end of the interview, Bailey apologized and stated he wanted to go back to that night and “make this an aggravated assault case.”

Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, a forensic anthropology expert and his team of Master’s students from Mercyhurst College, processed and diagramed the scene Aug. 31, 2017.

Dirkmaat said the body was discovered in a field, which was surrounded by a wooded area at 1581 Walker Rd., and had been there for at least one week but as long as three months.

He said it was still “relatively intact” but appeared to have been dragged to its final location because both arms were up over the head and clothing was “bunched up” in the back.

The body had also started the process of decomposition, Dirkmaat said, adding there was some evidence of burning on the clothing.

“Efforts to burn the body were somewhat minimal. There weren’t any sticks or brush – any sort of Kindling – so there wasn’t a big, roaring fire.”

Approximately 15 feet away, the forensic team located a blackened area of burned up vegetation and possibly the remains of a cellular phone.

Dirkmaat also examined the body, “conservatively” documenting at least 26 stab wounds but possibly as many as 48 separate occurrences of sharp force trauma in the upper torso.

He said the majority of stab wounds were located on the back of the body, such as to the head, neck, scapula (shoulder blade), rib and back areas.

He concluded a “sharp, heavy-duty” knife must have been used with significant force due to cuts penetrating through bone. “Some got crushed, rather than just cut.”

Dirkmaat also identified one occurrence of blunt force trauma to the nose, which he said, was unhealed and obviously occurred prior to death.

Because of physical characteristics and stature, Dirkmaat said the remains were believed to be that of a younger male between the ages of 15 and 25 years old.

Dr. Charles Beall, a retired forensic odontologist, testified that he positively identified the skeletal remains as Anderson through use of dental records from Dentist Melanie Jordan of Curwensville.

Former Clearfield County Coroner Mike Morris said Dirkmaat determined Anderson died from multiple stab wounds and Morris ruled his manner of death a homicide.

The trial is being prosecuted by District Attorney Ryan Sayers and First Assistant District Attorney Leanne Nedza. Bailey is represented by defense attorney Joe Ryan.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday in Clearfield County Court before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman, and is scheduled to run through Nov. 5.

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