6 Athens residents accused of torturing woman they met online

Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said, “You see tragedy pretty much on a weekly basis here in this line of work, but this is one of the cases that you
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 10:39 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT
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HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office arrested six people Tuesday in connection with allegations that they kidnapped a woman they met online, held her against her will, and tortured her.

“We received a call about a suspicious person, discovered this troubling case, and made arrests,” Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said in a press release. “You see tragedy pretty much on a weekly basis here in this line of work, but this is one of the cases that you’ll never forget,” Hillhouse said. “It’s not something you see often.”

According to the press release, the victim met the suspects online. Sheriff Hillhouse said the woman is from Maine. She moved to East Texas in November, where she lived with the six suspects.

“When she wanted to leave, they wouldn’t let her and then they basically just tortured her, and assaulted her, and kept her there,” Sheriff Hillhouse said.

Hillhouse said in the press release that the woman had been severely tortured during her captivity.

Judge Dan Moore with the 173rd Judicial District Court issued the warrant that allowed the HCVSO Tactical Team and the District Attorney’s Office to search a residence on Waverly Way in Athens.

Later, Judge Scott McKee with the 392nd Judicial District Court issued the arrest warrants for the six people, who were each charged with aggravated kidnapping.

The suspects, who are all from Athens, include:

  • Felicity Emanuelle Walker, 22
  • Summer Syler Lawrence, 45
  • Breonna Cheyenne Johnson, 22
  • Amanda Marie Andrews, 22
  • Shayne Joseph Anderson, 30
  • Charles K. Bryant, 21

According to the Henderson County Jail website, each suspect’s bond amount was set at $500,000.

According to the arrest affidavit, the HCSO investigator who was assigned to the case was notified on Tuesday that a woman had been located at 812 South Park Circle in Athens with severe bruising, burn marks, and the word “rape” shaved on the back of her head. The investigator went to the UT Health Emergency Room in Athens to talk to her.

The victim told the investigator that she had been held captive for about a week, the affidavit stated. During that time, the woman was allegedly tortured and made to call her captors “master.” The victim told the HCSO investigator that the suspects beat her with a walking cane, bondage fetish-type sex toys, fists, a wax sealer, award medals, and cigarettes, the affidavit stated.

“[The victim] told affiant cigarettes were put out on her chest and that a wax sealer was used to burn her hand,” the affidavit stated.

When the HCSO investigator spoke to the victim. she noticed that the woman’s eyes and face appeared to be bruised, bloody, and swollen, the affidavit stated. The victim’s arms, legs, back, chest, and stomach were swollen and covered with bruises. According to the affidavit, the victim also had what appeared to be linear cuts to multiple body parts.

The victim told the investigator that the cuts were caused by a razor-style blade.

“Affiant was told by [the victim] that Amanda used her chest as an ‘ash tray’ and that Summer put ‘the mark of disapproval” on her hand with the wax sealer,” the affidavit stated. [The victim] told Affiant the individuals named forced her to eat feces and pieces of lettuce that spat on.”

The victim is being treated for her injuries, Hillhouse said in the press release.

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