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Crime News Snapped: Killer Couples

Teen Injected with Morphine and Killed While Partying with Florida Couple on Christmas

When a Gulf War vet and his girlfriend befriended a “beautiful” but troubled teenager in a local bar, jealousy led to murder on Snapped: Killer Couples.

By Grace Jidoun

Buzzards led deer hunters to the lifeless body of 18-year-old DeAnna Stires in Levy County along Florida’s Gulf Coastline, as seen on Snapped: Killer Couples, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.

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The teen with “gorgeous eyes that could melt your heart” had been dumped in a wooded area the day after Christmas in 2013. The shocking discovery would send investigators into the bizarre world of a former Navy officer and an ex-beauty queen who ultimately traded their tiara and uniform for jail jumpsuits.

What happened to DeAnna Stires?

DeAnna Stires, a teen from Hernando County, Florida, was the type of girl who “knew no stranger. She was a lover… she was just beautiful,” said her aunt Loretta Crews on Snapped: Killer Couples. 

After her parents’ divorce, DeAnna grew close to her beloved grandpa, who lived across the street, but after witnessing him suffer a deadly heart attack, the teen turned to partying and alcohol to numb the pain.

Deanna Stires featured in Snapped Killer Couples episode 1718

“I just know that when Papa passed away … she was super upset and kinda started spiraling. She kinda went down a dark path,” recalled her mom, Melba, on Snapped: Killer Couples.

That dark path led to meeting a local couple twice her age at a bar in town. Byron Boutin, 41, and Crystal Brison, 35, had multiple felonies between them, and Bryon boasted a safe full of guns at home. However, the two weren’t always on the wrong side of the law.

Byron once held “an honorable rank” in the Navy, according to his stepmother, and Crystal had been an ”outgoing, cheerful” beauty queen who “won a lot of pageants,” said her aunt, Cathy Alexander.

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Their paths collided on Christmas Eve, 2013. DeAnna wanted to go out, so the 18-year-old left her father’s home that night with plans to rejoin the family on Christmas day. However she never returned.

On an early Christmas morning phone call, she reported she was not feeling well to her younger sister, Alyssa, and that was the last time her family would speak to her again.

“It was a low point in her life when one party turns into, you know, a whole ‘nother bender,” said Alyssa.

How did DeAnna Stires die?

When DeAnna’s body was found wrapped in black cloth in marshy woodlands on January 18, it had been so long she was nearly unidentifiable — animals were feeding on her remains. The police were able to discover she had blunt-force trauma to her head and later determined she had been pistol-whipped.

The cause of death? Acute drug toxicity. The manner of death? Homicide.

“I thought someone had done this to her,” stated her mom, Melba. “With the levels of the morphine that was in her system, there’s no way that was an accident.”

Investigators speculated that she was drugged against her will and could have been a potential victim of sex traffickers. But far from an elaborate trafficking scheme, DeAnna had the misfortune of simply getting on the wrong side of a a woman after a night of partying.

How were DeAnna Stires' killers caught?

Police traced a purchase on DeAnna’s debit card to a local gas station, and the surveillance video showed that longtime local Kevin Shields had swiped it.

“I was waiting for somebody to come talk to me,” he told police when they arrived at his home, where he quickly divulged a horrendous story.

Friends Byron and Crystal, he claimed, showed up at his place the day after Christmas, looking for a way to dispose of a corpse in the car’s trunk. 

The search for the culprits was on. Police quickly located Byron, who volunteered to be interviewed and falsely claimed not to have seen DeAnna since before Christmas.

But investigators also pinpointed another potential suspect, an older woman named Mama CJ, whom the couple sought out to “fix” the situation for them. After Mama CJ spilled incriminating details to the police, Byron eventually cracked and confessed to his role in DeAnna's murder.

But Crystal was more elusive.

Byron Boutin's Confession

The couple brought DeAnna back to their house early Christmas morning to continue partying when Byron claimed DeAnna “snuggled up” to him in bed. Crystal then walked in and allegedly yelled, “You didn’t f--k her, did you?”

Tensions escalated over drugs as well, he said.

“Allegedly, DeAnna got ahold of some of their stash and drove Crystal into a rage,” stated Detective George Loydgren on Snapped: Killer Couples.

She then injected the teen with a lethal dose of morphine.

According to Bryon, Crystal then began to “hit her, like a bunch of times, like really fast” with a pistol, after which DeAnna fell into a semi-conscious state, "sweating profusely and snoring loudly."  

The couple hatched a plan to take DeAnna to Byron’s dad’s house nearby, where they strapped her to an inversion table in the garage. She “freaked out,” said Byron in his confession, so Crystal allegedly tied her hands behind her back with duct tape and stuffed a rag into her mouth before leaving to get Mama CJ.

When they returned a short while later, “I could just tell right away that she was gone,” confessed Byron, who then drove around with her lifeless body in his trunk for two days before leaving her remains in a remote area.

What happened to Byron Bourdain and Crystal Brison?

Crystal evaded police until she was arrested on a separate charge involving a domestic altercation.

She denied all involvement in DeAnna's death and immediately requested a lawyer. To this day she has never given a formal statement, said Assistant State Attorney Peter Magrino.

Byron was arrested and charged with second-degree murder — until police located what was, literally, a smoking gun.

A handgun found in Byron’s safe had DNA on it from Byron, Crystal, and DeAnna. What’s more, blood splatter found inside the car, on the trunk’s liner, and inside Byron’s house was from DeAnna. That was enough evidence to up Byron’s charge to murder in the first degree.

But ultimately, a jury convicted Byron of second-degree murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison, which is natural life in Florida.

Crystal avoided a trial by accepting a plea deal for a charge of murder in the second degree. She was sentenced to 12 years and was released in October 2023, and is now a free woman.

In exchange for their cooperation, Mama CJ and Shields were never charged.

“How could one get life in prison and the other one get 12 years? She should have gotten life in prison as well,” said DeAnna’s mom.

Her sister Alyssa agrees: “I don’t feel like we got justice with Crystal.”

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