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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Candi Royer Sentenced, Affair with Deputy Exposed: Deputy Knew Girl's Location, According to Brown

Written by: Bonnie Chapman and Sam Orlando

A Long and Arduous Case Brought to Close

AUGUSTA COUNTY, VIRGINIA - With the sentencing of Candi Royer concluding today, and Travis Brown's sentencing last week, the legal chapters of a case that has deeply impacted Augusta County come to a close. However, the finality of court decisions does not silence the lingering questions surrounding the fact that baby Khaleesi's body was never found, or the conduct and transparency of local law enforcement, highlighted by Travis Brown's revealing statements in an exclusive interview with Breaking Through News.

In the hushed atmosphere of Augusta County Circuit Court this morning, the community witnessed the conclusion of a profoundly disturbing case as Candi Royer received a life sentence for her role in the death of Khaleesi Cuthriell. The sentencing not only marked the end of a legal battle but also cast a spotlight on deeper issues within the local law enforcement community, exacerbated by startling revelations from Travis Brown, who was just last week sentenced to life in prison for the same crime.

Courtroom Anticipation

The courtroom, filled with attendees reflecting a cross-section of the community, resonated with the gravity of the proceedings. The presence of Sheriff Donald Smith, a silent testament to the case's high-profile nature, underscored the underlying tensions brought forth by allegations of misconduct and undisclosed relationships within the sheriff's office.

Horrific Testimony

Lead investigator Ronald Reid’s testimony offered a grim recount of Khaleesi’s ordeal, with evidence including a harrowing "bathtub video" that painfully detailed the abuse she suffered under Royer's care. This narrative starkly contrasted Royer's portrayal as a victim, further challenged by evidence of her manipulative behavior through jail phone recordings and social media messages.

Emotional testimony from Khaleesi's mother, Amanda Mullen, underscored the betrayal and loss felt by those who trusted Royer. Her words, "Khaleesi was everything," echoed the courtroom's sentiment, highlighting the irreversible impact of Royer's actions.

Royer Apologizes, Travis Brown Speaks

Despite Royer's courtroom apology and claims of remorse, the sentencing to life imprisonment brought both relief and sorrow, leaving many in tears, including Mullen. This legal resolution, however, did not address the swirling allegations brought to light by Travis Brown, adding layers of complexity and concern to the case.

Brown's exclusive interview with Breaking Through News revealed allegations of a secret affair between Royer and Deputy Dylan Johnson, suggesting that Johnson was aware of Khaleesi's situation and even allowed his children to interact with her while she was under Royer's care. These claims raise serious questions about the transparency and integrity of the investigation into Khaleesi's disappearance and death.

Sheriff Smith Knew Royer Lived With His Deputy, He Approved It

Brown also highlighted the involvement of Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith in facilitating Royer's release on an ankle monitor, suggesting a conflict of interest given the undisclosed relationship between Royer and Johnson. Because Royer was being released to the residence of a sheriff's deputy, Smith needed to approve the arrangement. This revelation, coupled with evidence of text messages and social media communications between Royer and Johnson, points to a troubling lack of oversight and potential manipulation within the sheriff's office. The idea that Sheriff Smith and his deputy knew full well where Royer was living, and that she had custody of Khaleesi, raise so many questions in light of contradictory public statements made by the Sheriff during the investigation.

As the community grapples with Royer's sentencing and the implications of Brown's revelations, there is a growing call for accountability and reform within Augusta County's law enforcement agencies. The case of Khaleesi Cuthriell, while legally concluded, leaves a legacy of unanswered questions and the urgent need for transparency and justice in the face of potential conflicts of interest.

Travis Brown's Sentencing and Revelations

Travis Brown, recently sentenced to life in prison, has brought to light significant concerns about undisclosed relationships and potential conflicts of interest within the sheriff's office. His insights into the relationship between Candi Royer and Dylan Johnson, a deputy under Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith, raise serious questions about the integrity of the investigation and the search efforts for Royer when she and Johnson went on the run.

Brown claims that the deputy was married to his sister. He reportedly asked his sister if Candi could live with her after the covid outbreak, as Royer had been incarcerated and qualified for release on an ankle monitor through Blue Ridge Court Services.

Brown claims the relationship between Deputy Johnson and Candi Royer continued until after the pair were fugitives from justice. Shockingly, he claims Johnson knew Khaleesi was with Royer, and that he even let his kids play with Khaleesi during some of their "meetings", many of which reportedly occurred at the Cattle Scales property where Khaleesi was last seen alive.

Breaking Through News, through two separate sources, has verified the existence of text messages that prove Brown's claims about the illicit relationship between the deputy and Royer. We reached out to Dylan Johnson and Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith, but neither responded to our request for comment or explanation.

Royer's Sentencing: The Conclusion of a Legal Battle

Today's sentencing of Candi Royer marks the end of the court's involvement in a saga that has exposed the intricate and possibly conflicted ties between accused individuals and law enforcement officials. The acknowledgment of Royer's relationship with Johnson, particularly their cohabitation and the timing of their flight, casts a shadow over the sheriff's office's handling of the case.

After the sentencing, Travis Brown provided the following comment: "Justice was half served today but it doesn't make up for the miscarriage of justice that happened to me." Brown maintains his innocence, and says he looks forward to the Appellate Court's review of his case. "It hurts me bad to know that she has by judicial standards admitted to this tragic event by pleading guilty to 1st degree murder and yet here I sit with a life sentence until my appeal gets heard...words alone can't describe the way I feel. I turned down their 16year plea deal because I'm not guilty and can't wait to show the world this."

Sheriff's Office Under Scrutiny

The revelation that Khaleesi Royer was living with Johnson, coupled with their affair, during a critical period of the investigation, without public disclosure, places Sheriff Smith's actions under scrutiny. The decision not to inform the public about the deputy's involvement with Royer, especially during the search, suggests a troubling lack of transparency that has left the community seeking answers.

A Call for Accountability and Reform

As Augusta County processes the outcomes of these sentencings, the focus shifts to the need for accountability and systemic reform within its law enforcement agencies. Brown's revelations underscore the importance of transparency and impartiality in justice administration, urging a reevaluation of practices to prevent personal relationships from influencing law enforcement actions.

Moving Forward: Lessons Learned

The case may have reached its legal conclusion, but the dialogue it has sparked about law enforcement conduct and integrity continues. The community's trust in its officials hinges on the assurance that justice is served without prejudice or partiality. Addressing the issues raised by Travis Brown is not merely a step toward resolving past controversies but a move towards fostering a more transparent, accountable, and trustworthy law enforcement framework in Augusta County.

The sentencing of Candi Royer to life in prison brings a somber closure to a tragic story, yet the dialogue it has sparked about law enforcement conduct, integrity, and the necessity for systemic reform continues. As Augusta County reflects on these events, the lessons learned must pave the way for a future where such tragedies are met with unwavering commitment to justice, free from the shadows of personal relationships or professional biases.


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