FORSYTH, Ga. - Fifteen-year-old Dante Krieger pistol-whipped his aunt in the head, cracking her skull, splitting her ear and then spilled her blood across three vehicles at her Tingle Road home before he shot a bullet through her temple and killed her on Sunday, July 14.
That was the gruesome testimony of lead Monroe County investigator Allen Henderson, who persuaded Judge Tommy Wilson on Tuesday, July 30 that there was enough evidence to keep Krieger in custody on murder charges. Krieger is accused of killing his 42-year-old aunt Tryeflue Rogers of Forsyth.
Tuesday’s probable cause hearing at the Monroe County courthouse was the first time the sheriff’s office has revealed some of the details of Rogers’ murder.
Here’s what Henderson said happened: Krieger disappeared from the home of his foster parents in Covington late Saturday or early Sunday, driving away after stealing their white truck. The foster parents asked a female friend of Krieger’s, 16-year-old Jennie Cook of Covington, to text him because he might respond to her. He did and eventually, on Sunday they spoke by phone. Cook said Krieger was crying and upset, admitting he had done something really wrong.
“What?” asked Cook.
“I shot my aunt,” responded Krieger.
“Is she dead?” she asked.
“Yes,” replied Krieger.
Cook told her parents who called the Newton County sheriff’s office, a call that eventually got to the Monroe County sheriff’s office as deputies were alerted to go to Rogers’ home. At about the same time, Krieger had pulled over in Rogers’ stolen truck between Columbia, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C. and dialed 911, telling Chester County (S.C.) authorities what he had done as well. Krieger led South Carolina authorities to a construction site where the murder weapon, Rogers’ discarded 9 mm, was found. Chester County authorities interviewed him there.
Henderson said he got to the scene Sunday evening and found Rogers’ body about 50 feet from the driveway and covered with two hoodies and some leaves and sticks. Her feet were tied together and her shorts were around her knees.
Investigators found several spots of blood in the driveway every 10 feet, and also found blood smeared on the white truck stolen in Covington, on Rogers’ black truck, and on the trunk of a nearby red car. Henderson said that the blood must’ve belonged to Rogers and that she was either moved while under attack or was moved by someone else. An autopsy showed the bullet had gone in around her temple and exited the back of her neck.
Under questioning from Krieger’s attorney, public defender Doug Smith, Henderson admitted he didn’t talk to any of Rogers’ neighbors noting they were too far away to have heard anything. Henderson said Rogers had just divorced her husband Chuck O’Neal and that O’Neal’s sons said they didn’t know of any trouble between Rogers and Krieger.
“None of them saw this coming,” said Henderson.
Smith then asked Henderson about “the lady that was in the paper”, Rogers’ best friend Amy Haines-Ross, who told the Reporter that Rogers used to foster Krieger and was scared of him.
Henderson said Haines-Ross reported they had normal teenager issues with Krieger, like when he took her truck without permission, but nothing indicating violence.
After an hour of testimony, Wilson declared there was probable cause and sent Krieger back to the Youth Detention Center in Macon.
Krieger turned 16 last week.