CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- An accused kidnapper and murderer appeared in Catawba County court Friday morning.
Family and friends of Tabatha Heaver walked out of the courthouse after coming face to face with her accused killer, ex-boyfriend Aaron Compton.
While inside the hearing, Heavner's ex-husband held up a framed photo of Tabatha with her daughter. Family Pastor Geary Walton from Blackburn Baptist church tells us they are all in shock.
"I talked to her about six weeks ago. Everything was going well, and I really thought she was really doing great," said her pastor.
Compton is charged with breaking into Heavner's Newton home, stabbing her, forcing her into his car and driving her into Gaston County. Police say she jumped out of the car to escape. Compton then stopped and stabbed her again, police say, before she was hit by several cars and died.
"Words can't describe it. Words can't describe it," said Walton.
Pastor Walton says she was part of their church family.
"Super girl. She had some hard times in her life but she got her life straightened out. She was a strong, Christian lady," said Walton.
Walton says he'd never met Compton, who during the court hearing, kept staring into the crowd
where Heavner's family was sitting. Now Walton says the church family will help Heavner’s three children, ages 12 to 22, through this tragedy.
“We're a family, and when something happens to one of our family members, it hurts and we pull together," said Walton.
Compton is expected back in court on September 4. He did ask for a court appointed attorney and was denied bond on his murder charge.