Judge compares couple to Chris Brown & Rhianna

Published 9:15 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

They aren’t as well known, but last week a local couple was compared to performers Chris Brown and Rihanna, whose vturbulent relationship has been in the news for years.

Judge Mary Covington told Andrew (Andy) and Crystal Harris, “You are like Chris Brown and Rihanna. You shouldn’t be together. You are a hot mess together.”

The couple was in District Court, each charged with simple assault, and Andy had an additional charge of simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. The charges stemmed from an April 21 incident at the couple’s apartment off Windsong Road in Mocksville.

According to testimony by Crystal, the day before, her niece, Tina, and boyfriend were at the home, and even though Crystal said she did not want them there, she let them spend the night. The next day, she said, Tina and a neighbor, Cindy, were at Cindy’s apartment, and Tina stole a bottle of Xanax and some cash from Cindy.

When they returned to Crystal’s apartment, Cindy told them what had happened, and Andy “smacked” Tina’s hand, and the pills fell onto the floor. He picked them up, intending to give them back to Cindy.

Crystal told Tina and her boyfriend to leave, and as they were doing so, the boyfriend unhooked Crystal’s large dog from a chain in the yard. Crystal said she ran to get the dog, which knocked her down, and Andy had to help her secure the dog. Once back inside, the couple began to argue about the dog, with Andy saying he was going to get rid of it.

Andy testified the dog, a German Shepherd/Labrador mix, ran “full at” Crystal and knocked her down.

“It was a melee if you want to know the truth,” he said.

About 25 minutes later, he said, he saw the police outside but thought they were there because Cindy had called them about the stolen pills. He said he had called Cindy to tell her he was bringing them to her, but the police arrived before he could do that.

He had not been drinking nor taking any type of drugs, he testified, but said Crystal had a few beers. He was on house arrest at the time.

Officer Stuart Shore, with the Mocksville Police Department, testified a 911 call about a domestic dispute sent him to the address, and he said he could hear yelling and screaming before he got to the apartment. Andy answered the door, and Shore said he could see he had a bloody lip and blood on his clothes.

Crystal was still inside, “agitated and shouting” with scratches on her and leaves in her hair. Someone made “a comment about a dog,” Shore said, and he saw a dog tied in the yard.

He found the Xanax when he patted Andy down, he testified, and also said he’d “dealt with the couple” previously.

Andy’s past convictions include DWI, assault, and assault on a female (Crystal), all charges occurring after he was “drinking heavily,” he said. “I have twins. They need me. I’ve cleaned up and my wife has cleaned up,” he told Covington.

“Did you hit your wife on this occasion?” asked his attorney, Tim Smith. Andy said he did not.

Crystal has been convicted of DWI and assault with a deadly weapon, when she stabbed Andy, but she said she is an alcoholic and bi-polar and was off her medication when she stabbed him.

Smith asked Shore if he asked Andy how he got his injuries, and Shore said he didn’t recall. He described Crystal as “extremely all messed up” and Smith asked couldn’t that and the leaf in her hair be consistent with being outdoors on the ground, and Shore said possibly.

“The things you observed about her, could they be consistent with her being dragged by a large dog?” Smith asked. Shore said he couldn’t say.

Testimony by the neighbor, Cindy, corroborated the testimony about the pills, and she said she also heard the dog commotion. She described the dog as “hefty” and said it was capable of dragging Crystal.

After testimony concluded, Covington said, “The only thing perfectly clear to me is that someone was in possession of pills that shouldn’t have been. The defendant was holding pills to give to someone else. Not much of a defense.”

She found the couple not guilty of assault, but found Andy guilty of possession of a controlled substance, and gave him credit for time served.