Shins’ Crandall Off The Hook In Alleged Domestic-Violence Incident With Former ‘Top Model’ Girlfriend

District attorney's office cites insufficient evidence; musician's ex-girlfriend also in the clear.

The Sacramento, California, district attorney’s office ruled Tuesday (January 8) that there was insufficient evidence to pursue domestic-violence charges against Shins multi-instrumentalist Marty Crandall or his former girlfriend, Elyse Sewell. The pair were arrested Friday after an alleged altercation at a Sacramento hotel during which Sewell claimed in a now-deleted post on her LiveJournal page that a drunken Crandall bruised her arms and bloodied her knuckles, and that she left bite marks on him as a result of their scuffle.

Sewell appeared in court Tuesday for her arraignment, during which a judge said the case against her had been rejected for insufficient evidence, according to Paul Durenberger, the supervisor of the domestic-violence unit in the district attorney’s office. “Basically it means there was not enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and no way to prove a crime against either one of the people involved,” he explained. “We looked at the police reports and there was no way to make a determination of a crime.”

Sewell, a former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant who dated Crandall for several years, wrote in her original post that a night of drinking in a hotel room ended with her escaping “from the room through a blitzkrieg of violence.” After a hotel employee called police, both Sewell and Crandall were arrested and booked on domestic-violence charges. Sewell was released from jail Saturday and Crandall was released Sunday.

In a post titled “Bail Bond Betty” on her LiveJournal page dated at just after noon Tuesday, Sewell, pictured wearing a blue blouse and black skirt and standing outside a hotel room pouring M&M’s into her purse, wrote, “Gettin’ ready. I fancy my court appearance to be pretty fly despite puffy eyes and the giant jail boil on my chin that yesterday, in my anxiety, I picked into scabrous oblivion. Better pack some candy in case I end up in jail tonight and regret not grabbing my last chance for an M&M … Soon I will find out whether I will be prosecuted or the district attorney will drop the felony charges. Ugh, how distasteful that I even have to think about those boring legal words. Out with ‘own recognizance.’ ”

She updated the post later in the day, writing, “The DA has rejected the case against me. I am free. I wish the same outcome for Marty and have no intention of pursuing any further legal action. I would not wish entanglement in the widening gyre of the American legal system upon my worst enemy … It was incredibly naive of me not to realize that my blog entry about this incident would become tabloid fodder. That was not my intention. I consider the small circle of people who frequent this LJ to be a support group; the much larger world of tabloid readers is certainly not. I will never speak of this again, nor malign Marty in this space. And tomorrow this’ll be fishwrap … Expect few updates to this journal in the next couple of weeks as I will be untangling the web of seven years of cohabitation with my ex-boyfriend, packing up my sh–, and thickening up a plot to travel and work in more temperate climes.”

Durenberger said Crandall was still expected to be arraigned Wednesday as a procedural matter, at which point the charges against him will also be dropped.