Biker Gang Member Plead Guilty in 2015 Murder Case

Published on November 29, 2016

Scott Hanchett

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) - Today in Weld County District Court, Scott Hanchett, one of seven co-defendants involved in the 2015 stabbing death of a Pierce woman, plead guilty to several charges.

Hanchett, 22, is now facing up to 55 years in the Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder (F2), Violent Crime Causing Death (sentence enhancer) and Accessory to a Class 1 or Class 2 Felony (F4).

Under the plea agreement, the judge can sentence Hanchett anywhere from 45 to 55 years in the DOC, which will be decided at the sentencing hearing in early January.

The case dates back to late September 2015 when the victim, Tera Lewandowski, 34, was reported missing after failing to show up for a doctor's appointment. Her body was found in April nearly 100 miles away in Wyoming.

According to the affidavit, the murder was orchestrated by Daniel “DJ” Meyer, 36, a former Pierce Town Board member, along with Scott Hanchett, his sister Karly, Mike Vassil, Thomas Vassil and Chad Iler, all of whom are members of the “21 Biker Gang.”

Another defendant, Crystal Griffin, cooperated with investigators by detailing the crime. She told police Karly hit the victim in the back of the head with an unknown object while Meyer stabbed her in the chest with a hunting knife.

The group then planned an elaborate cover-up by burning the victim's belongings, removing portions of the blood-stained carpet and dropping her body off in a field nearly 100 miles from the scene.

Assistant District Attorney Robb Miller and Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Wilson are prosecuting the case.

What's Next:

  1. DJ Myer is set for an arraignment on 12/1 at 9:30 a.m. in Division 11.
  2. Karly Hanchett is set for an arraignment on 12/8 at 9:00 a.m. in Division 11.
  3. Scott Hanchett will be sentenced on 1/4 at 4:30 p.m. in Division 11.
  4. Mike Vassil is set for trial on April 3 at 8:30 a.m. in Division 11.
  5. Thomas Vassil is set for a status conference on 1/6 at 2:30 p.m. in Division 11.

Case Closed:

  1. Crystal Griffin pleaded guilty to Accessory to Murder on 5/6/16 and was sentenced to 12 years in community corrections.
  2. Chad Iler pleaded guilty on 5/3/16 to Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder and Accessory to a Crime and was sentenced to 3 years in the DOC and 10 years supervised probation.
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