Judge denies bond for Anderson County man accused of murder

Zachary Earl Powell
Zachary Earl Powell

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A judge denied bond for an Anderson County man accused of murder.

Deputies say 31-year-old Zachary Powell shot and killed 39-year-old Crystal Kuykendall. He’s now facing a murder charge that carries anywhere from 30 years to life in prison.

Emotions ran high inside a courtroom during Powell’s bond hearing Monday evening.

“She was a sister, and she was a mother, and she was a daughter, and she was so many things, and you took her from us,” Kuykendall’s younger sister, Elise Shepherd, told the judge.

The shooting happened at Level Land Road and Wright School Road early Thursday morning.

Shepherd remembers getting the heart-wrenching call.

“That Crystal was found shot dead in a ditch,” Shepherd said. “I don’t know how you say it any better than that, but I collapsed.”

Deputies say Kuykendall gave Powell a ride. They got into an argument, he shot her in the face, and stole her car.

“After throwing her like a beer can or Pepsi bottle on the side of the road,” said Stephanie Hannon, Kuykendall’s stepmother.

Monday, Kuykendall’s family got to look Powell in the face, but he didn’t have many words in return to them.

“I have nothing to say right now, mam, so I’ll be praying for them and praying for myself,” Powell told the judge.

He did, however, talk to his family who showed up at the bond hearing.

“Please stay in touch with me, and that I love them,” Powell said.

Before he left the hearing, he did offer an apology to Kuykendall’s family.

“I’m sorry to the family if that means anything,” Powell said.

The family says that doesn’t bring her back, and they want to see justice served.

“It’s all really hard,” Shepherd said. “It’s all surreal. None of this should be happening. He wasn’t supposed to take her from us.”

A friend of Kuykendall’s was also in the car at the time of the shooting. She was able to escape and call for help. However, before Powell found himself facing a murder charge, he was already in trouble for two violations of his probation.

Kuykendall’s funeral will be Wednesday.

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