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Convicted Killer Speaks Out After Love Triangle Murder: "I Want the Truth to Come Out"
"Going through social media records of Jason Atkins and Sarah Andry, we found that he had made comments, 'As long as Darin's around, I'm never going to have you,'" said Rick Chambers, DuBois Co. Prosecutor Office Investigator, on Snapped.
An Indiana woman was involved in a love triangle that turned deadly, when her boyfriend was discovered beaten to death.
Jason Atkins is in prison for killing Darin Atkins, but in Snapped, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen, police revealed how he wasn’t the true mastermind behind the murder — the woman pulling the strings was Sarah Andry.
“She lived with Jason for a period of time, then she would move down to Darin’s,” Tom Kleinhelter, the DuBois County Sheriff, said on Snapped. “Darin and Jason knew. People that knew Darin and people that knew Jason thought Sarah was manipulative. So, whoever was nice to her, whoever had the drugs, that’s where she kind of gravitated towards.”
What happened to Darin Atkins?
Sarah Andry called 911 to come to the home of her boyfriend, Darin Atkins, in Birdseye, Indiana on July 19, 2017. She told dispatchers that someone had beat him up, and he was dead.
However, Andry didn’t immediately call police, but instead called her mother, who picked her up and drove her a few miles away from Atkins’ home.
“I’d never seen a dead body before, nonetheless one that I loved, so I wasn’t thinking,” Andry said on Snapped. “I can’t believe it. I was in shock.”
Atkins’ body was found in the master bedroom of his home. An autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma to the head, and blood was splattered on the walls and bed.
Small cuts were also found on his body, as if barbed wire had been used. Various people told police that Atkins was known to keep a bat with barbed wire on it at his house for protection, but that bat was never located.
Although Andry called in his murder around noon, the pathologist estimated he’d been killed between 4 and 8 a.m.
Andry told police she and Atkins had a party the night before his death. She claimed she’d spent the night with Atkins, before leaving around 8 a.m. to go to her friend Jason Atkins’ house. (Although Darin and Jason had the same last name, they were not related.)
Andry told police when she came back, she found Darin Atkins dead.
What were Sarah Andry's relationships with Darin and Jason Atkins?
Darin Atkins was divorced. Tragically, in June 2006, both of his daughters with his ex-wife died in a car crash, and he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Sarah Andry, meanwhile, had become pregnant as a high school freshman and moved to Florida with her husband, where she became addicted to drugs. Her children were put into foster care and adopted. She eventually got divorced, and moved back to Indiana, where she met Darin Atkins in 2014 through Facebook. Bonding over grief and pain, the two quickly moved in together.
“The place they were at was just a big party house,” said Eddie Andry, Sarah Andry’s current husband, on Snapped. “It was drugs and having fun.”
In 2017, just months before his murder, Sarah Andry and Darin Atkins decided to try and get sober.
“He asked me to marry him,” Andry said. “I said yes, but just the drugs, and the life we was living — it just wasn’t happening.”
A few days into the investigation, police got a tip Andry was also dating Jason Atkins. A search of Andry’s social media messages confirmed this.
“You read those Facebook messages, it’s very clear to me that Jason wanted Sarah,” Jerry Garner, defense attorney, said on Snapped. “And he didn’t want to lose Sarah. He was jealous of the love that she evidently had at that time for Darin.”
The messages also provided a motive for why Jason Atkins would want Darin Atkins dead.
“Jason would have motive to kill Darin because if Darin’s out of the picture he can have Sarah, which is what he wanted,” Beth Schroeder, prosecutor, said on Snapped.
Sarah Andry admitted that she was in a love triangle.
“I started seeing both of them,” she said on Snapped. “Like, if I wasn’t with one of them, I was with the other one. They knew it. Ended up choosing Darin. I finally told Jason, and he wasn’t happy.”
Sarah Andry’s phone also proved that she was lying about being with Darin Atkins in the hours before he was murdered. Texts showed Darin was mad at Sarah Andry because she was with Jason at his home after the party.
How did security camera footage change the Atkins investigation?
Police were able to look at the security footage from the library in the small Indiana town. It showed Jason Atkins’ car drive by in the early morning of July 19, at 4:13 a.m., despite his claims to have stayed home all night. Two people could be seen in the car.
When police interviewed Jason Atkins, he claimed after the party, Sarah Andry came to his house and told him Darin Atkins was beating her. Police said they never found any evidence this was true.
“The Facebook records, the phone records, they all indicated a lot of manipulation on her part, and she was playing them against each other,” Schroeder said. “Sarah would make accusations against Darin to Jason, and she would make accusations against Jason to Darin. She would get them to feel sorry for her. And she would use that to her advantage."
Jason Atkins said the two decided to go confront Darin about the alleged abuse.
“Sarah deserves to be locked up,” Jason Atkins said in police interviews. "‘Cause she’s the mastermind behind it all. It all boils around her somehow. Because she’s a conniving, evil person.”
Jason Atkins told police that he and Andry entered Darin’s home.
“Then he comes at me,” Jason Atkins said in police inteviews. “He grabbed that bat … and comes at me with it, and he swung and missed, and I took it from him and that was that …then, I used it. Upside the head. I did hit him in the head.”
Jason Atkins claimed that he only hit Darin once, and that he was still alive when he left the home. But this story didn’t add up with the autopsy report, which showed Darin Atkins was beat several times with the object, or the forensic evidence at the scene. Experts said the blood patterns on the bed blankets suggested that Darin was under the blankets in bed when the beating occurred — not that he was standing up next to the bed.
A few days later, Jason Atkins told police he was ready to confess more.
“He said that, in his words, ‘I hit him in the head,’” Kleinhelter said. “'I know that knocked him out. He was out. But I know that he was still alive when Sarah picked up the bat.’”
Jason Atkins alleges that Sarah Andry is the one who really killed Darin Atkins.
“I watched her strike Darin Atkins as I was walking out of the house,” Jason told police during an interview. “I heard her strike him two more times before I walked out that day … We went down there to confront Darin … and she took it too far. She's just too f—ked up on the drugs. And the drugs had tooken her over.”
Jason Atkins pled guilty in exchange for testifying against Andry at trial. He received 20 years in prison and five years home detention and will be eligible for parole on April 24, 2036.
In September 2020, Andry went on trial. She was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison. In July 2021, she appealed her conviction, but the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld it.
After Darin Atkins’ murder, before she was convicted, Andry married an old high school friend named Eddie Andry. They remained married today.
Sarah Andry maintains she’s innocent of Darin Atkins’ murder.
“I want the truth to come out too, for real,” Andry said on Snapped. “I want Darin’s mom to know that I didn’t do it. I ain’t proud of it, but I was on drugs, and I wanted everything. Between the two of them, they gave me everything I wanted.”
Watch new episodes of Snapped on Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen, and the next day on Peacock.