Woodland man on trial for murder
Bailey accused of 2017 killing of Chase Anderson
CLEARFIELD — After four years, the case against a Woodland man charged with the murder of a Curwensville man started Tuesday in Clearfield County Court.
Chase Anderson of Curwensville was 19 years old in August 2017, when he was reported missing. His partially burned body was later recovered in a remote area of Pike Township.
In April 2018, Denny S. Bailey, now 41, of Woodland, and Kenja Kasheem Tew, now 26, formerly of Clearfield, were both charged with criminal homicide, assault, kidnap to inflict terror, conspiracy and numerous related offenses.
They are accused of taking Anderson to the location where he was found, beating him and stabbing him. In testimony at a preliminary hearing, they each blamed the other for his death.
A trial for Bailey’s case has been delayed due to the former District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. seeking the death penalty and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his opening statement, District Attorney Ryan Sayers described the case as “three went out, but only two came back.”
He warned the jury that there was going to be “sad, gruesome details” and admitted some of the testimony was going to be difficult.
The body was identified as Anderson by matching his dental records.
The cause of death was blunt force trauma and stab wounds.
In his opening statements, defense attorney Joseph Ryan also warned there will be “disturbing images” in the course of the trial and disturbing details.
“You will hear different versions from different people” about what happened, he said.
Ryan said that Bailey is guilty of some offenses in this case but maintained that he did not kill Anderson.
He admitted Bailey did go to the scene of the crime to clean up evidence and destroyed evidence at his home, as well, because he was in love with a third co-defendant, Chantell Demi, and was trying to protect her.
Demi, 30, of Woodland, is also charged with homicide, conspiracy and related charges in the case and with reckless burning, tampering with evidence and more because she allegedly set fire to the vehicle reportedly used to transport Anderson to the scene of the crime.
Recently, a motion by Demi’s attorney to withdraw a guilty plea she signed over three years ago was granted, according to online court records. Tew’s case is still pending.
The first witness in Bailey’s nine-day trial was Anderson’s mother, Angela, who said she became concerned in August 2017 when she hadn’t heard from Chase and reported him missing.
She noted that Chase told her he was working with Bailey and he was staying with Tew in Clearfield prior to his disappearance.
Other testimony came from several police officers involved with the early investigation, which developed into a murder case.
Trooper David Patrick testified that he interviewed Bailey multiple times. An audio recording of one of the interviews was played Tuesday, during which Bailey repeatedly said he did not kill Anderson and Demi was not involved.
He stated that Anderson was “a good kid” and that he had “no ill will” toward him. He claimed Tew killed Anderson.
Two other taped interviews with Bailey are expected to be played today.