Andry guilty in aiding fiance's deathSeptember 29, 2020
By CANDY NEAL
Sarah K. Andry was convicted of aiding in the death of her fiance, Darin L. Atkins.
Dubois Circuit Judge Nathan Verkamp made his ruling Tuesday afternoon. He found the Eckerty woman guilty on two counts: aiding murder and aggravated battery. Sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, in the Dubois Circuit Court.
“Everyone on our team worked hard to bring justice to the victim in this case. “Dubois County Prosecutor, Anthony Quinn said after the decision was announced. “In particular, Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Beth Sermersheim, did an outstanding job at trial.”
Dubois County Sheriff's Office deputies found Darin Atkins deceased in his home, 3543 S. Harts Gravel Road, north of Birdseye on July 19, 2017. On that day, Dubois County dispatch received a 911 call from Andry advising that she had found Darin Atkins deceased at his residence. During the investigation, officers interviewed Andry multiple times, according a report from the prosecutor’s office. At that time, Andry told police that it looked like someone came in while Darin Atkins was sleeping and beat him to death. But Dubois County Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter, who was a detective at the time, said that it became apparent to investigators that the crime scene had been tampered with and the body had been moved post-mortem.
Investigators recovered extensive digital evidence, including information from the cellphones of Andry and other witnesses, and video and location information from businesses and other buildings near the crime scene. In her interviews, Andry gave multiple varying accounts of what occurred, and her accounts differed from facts established with the digital and video evidence, the prosecutor’s office reported.
During one of the interviews police conducted with Andry, investigators left her in the interview room alone for a few minutes with the video recording equipment still running. On the recording, Andry can be heard saying, “my God, what have I d….,” the prosecutor’s office reported.
Investigators also interviewed Jason A. Atkins of Birdseye, who was also in a relationship with Andry, multiple times. Jason Atkins eventually told investigators that he got into a confrontation with the victim and struck him once in the head with a baseball bat, according to the prosecutor’s office. Jason Atkins said that Andry then took the bat and struck Darin Atkins twice before he and Andry left the residence, the prosecutor’s office said.
Pathologist Dr. James Jacobi determined that the manner of death was a homicide, and the cause of death of Darin Atkins was multiple blunt force injuries to the head.
Warrants charging Andry and Jason Atkins in the case were issued in June 2018. They were arrested June 11, 2018.
Jason Atkins pleaded guilty to murder in October 2019 and was sentenced to 45 years. As part of his plea agreement, a felony count of aggravated battery was dismissed.
The sentence for aiding murder ranges between 45 and 65 years; the sentence for aggravated battery ranges between three and 16 years.
Quinn thanked the investigators involve in the case, including Investigator Rick Chambers, Indiana State Police Det. Brock Werne and Kleinhelter, who was lead investigator at that time.
“The success in this case demonstrates again that we have a great team of law enforcement officials here in Dubois County,” Quinn said. “I am proud to work with this group to continue to keep Dubois County safe and secure.”
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