STEPHEN V. SPRINKLE | Unfinished Lives
In one of the grisliest murders the local Catawba County Sheriff’s Department can recall, a teen roommate used the gay panic defense to justify his alleged ax-and-shotgun murder of an older gay man.
Michael Anderson, 19, of nearby King’s Mountain, is accused of murdering 38-year-old Stephen Starr at about 4:45 a.m. on Monday in the Hickory house they shared.
The Hickory Daily Record reports that Anderson, claiming he “turned straight” during alleged sexual advances by Starr, shot him with a shotgun and pistol, carved words into his body and wrote some others with a pen, before lodging an ax in the victim’s stomach.
“He shot his roommate and took an ax to him,” Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid told the Daily Record. “It’s one of the nastiest crime scenes I’ve been to.”