Woman charged in death of girl dumped near Otter Creek

-A A +A

 By Abdon Sidibe

Special to the Beacon

A second suspect was charged June 5 in the death of a Brooksville teen killed in December in Citrus County and demped several days later on hunting camp property in Levy County. 

Crystal Michelle Brinson, 36, of Brooksville is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the death of DeAnna Lee Stires, 18. No bond was allowed.

Brinson’s boyfriend, Byron Lee Boutin, 45, of Homosassa was arrested Jan. 30 by Citrus County sheriff’s investigators in Lecanto and charged with murder in the second degree in connection with Stires’ death. He is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Boutin is being held at the Citrus County Detention Facility.

Stires was reported missing on New Year’s Day to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. Her body was found Jan. 18 in a wooded area off State Road 24 in wood near the town of Otter Creek.

According to Boutin’s Citrus County arrest affidavit, a witness told law enforcement personnel that he had been with Stires from Dec. 23 through  Christmas Day, and took drugs with her at multiple locations in Citrus and Hernando counties, including at Boutin’s house in Homosassa.

Brinson and co-defendant Boutin reportedly argued with Stires on Dec. 25 over missing methamphetamine, which they believed Stires stole.

A witness told investigators that on Dec. 26, Boutin and Brinson said Stires became enraged and crazy, pulling Boutin’s belongings out of cabinets, and while trying to subdue Stires, Boutin administered a “hot shot” to the teen — an “unknown injectable narcotic.”

Stires was reportedly bleeding, and the couple transported her to Boutin’s father’s barn in Brooksville.

The pair believed Stires was either “dead or not doing well,” according to the witness at the barn.

Evidence collected by investigators from Boutin’s house and car include blood samples and several guns, one of which had hair similar to the victim’s hair color and shade.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab later confirmed the samples as being blood.

During interviews on Jan. 18 and 20, Boutin reportedly gave conflicting stories to investigators and denied involvement in Stires’ death and disappearance.

However, Boutin did say he picked up Stires off Mitchell Road in Brooksville and took her back to his home in Homosassa.

In a sworn and recorded statement, Boutin told detectives he and Brinson picked up Stires in Brooksville, they used drugs with her on Christmas Day. Boutin said he left Stires alone in his home on Dec. 25, and when he came back she had “torn up”?the house and was “acting crazy,” according to the report. 

Boutin also corroborated witness statements about giving Stires a shot of what appeared to be morphine — after which Stires started “flipping out” and screaming as he and Brinson were getting ready to leave for Brooksville and drop her off.

According to the report, information received from Boutin’s neighbors indicated that some time Christmas Day or in the early hours the day after Christmas, they heard a female screaming and it appeared to come from inside Boutin’s trailer. The screaming reportedly stopped abruptly and the only other sound the neighbor heard was when Boutin left about 6 a.m. Dec. 26 in his blue Lincoln Continental. 

Boutin told investigators he witnessed Brinson hit Stires in the head with a pistol several times.

After the fight, Boutin said he put Stires in the back seat of his car and decided to take her to his father’s Brooksville house off Centralia Road. Upon arrival, Boutin put Stires in a garage, saying she was snoring and sweating, but he didn’t think anything was wrong because Stires had been up for a few days on methamphetamine.

At that time, Boutin said, he and Brinson tied Stires up with duct tape in case she woke up and started to “freak out” again. Boutin and Brinson also put a rag in her mouth and duct-taped it shut. 

Leaving Stires tied up, they reportedly left the house and returned an hour later and found her dead.

He reportedly asked another witness for a secluded area to dump her body.

Stires’ body reportedly stayed in Boutin’s car trunk for two days while he sought a place dump it. On the morning of Dec. 27 he drove up U.S. 19 and ultimately left her body in a secluded hunting area, “where he knew she would eventually be discovered,” according to the affidavit.

Brinson, who was in custody in Hernando County, was transported to the Citrus County Detention Center and did not make any statements.