The woman accused of Murder in connection to the disappearance of LeeAnna Brumley appeared in Pulaski District Court Friday morning for arraignment.
Danelle N. Powell, 33, of Somerset, was appointed a public defender, Ezra Dike, who entered a not guilty plea on her behalf. Assistant County Attorney Chasiti Ross represented the commonwealth.
The charge stems for the May 22 disappearance of Brumley, a 25-year-old mother whom family members said battled addiction and frequently stayed on friends' couches. Her mother, Anita Duggins Helton, reported Brumley missing to authorities on June 4.
According to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, which held a press conference Thursday afternoon following Powell's arrest, Brumley was likely killed on the day she was last heard from. A motive has yet to be released.
In describing the circumstances surrounding Brumley’s disappearance and death, PCSO detective Lt. Bobby Jones — the lead investigator in this case — stated that both Brumley and Powell had been staying at the residence of Gerald Avalon Hendricks, 53, of Science Hill.
“At some point, LeeAnna Brumley was led away from that residence, led to a rural area in northern Pulaski county. The information that we got [was] that she was shot, and then struck in the head with a hatchet, and then burned,” Lt. Jones said.
“It was brutal circumstances that she went through.”
Jones said also that authorities believe she was killed at one location and her body transported to a second location. Members of the Major Crimes Task Force discovered several human bones they believe to be Brumley's remains while searching a field off Charter Oaks Road near Science Hill. Those remains have been sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for identification.
Gerald Hendricks and his relative — 39-year-old Corky L. Hendricks — are currently incarcerated on charges that are unrelated to this case. However, Lt. Jones said that he expected, once the case was presented to a Grand Jury, both men will face charges along with Powell in the Brumley case.
Powell herself remains lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center without bond. On Friday, Pulaski District Judge Jeffrey Scott Lawless declined to set a bond in the case in light of the seriousness of the charge. He has scheduled a preliminary hearing in the matter for next Wednesday afternoon.