Teen arrested in Hickory death asked forgiveness

Michael Anderson

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 15 at 1:13 PM

HICKORY, N.C. -- A Hickory teen arrested on charges of shooting and hacking to death his roommate posted a Facebook message asking God for forgiveness.

The Hickory Daily Record reported that a message posted by 19-year-old Michael Anderson early Monday also contained the phrase "my killing starts tonight."

Police say Anderson called 911 early Monday morning and told an operator that he'd just shot his roommate, 36-year-old Stephen Starr, and taken an axe to Starr's head.

The attack happened at a home on Ruth Drive in Mountain View where the two men lived.

Neighbors say it's typically a quiet road and they're shocked by the horrific crime that occurred on their street.

"There were some carvings on his body," said neighbor Barry Leatherman, describing the crime scene.

Investigators say it appears that Anderson used a hatchet to carve a word on Starr's body and he used a pen to write other words on the body. Investigators wouldn't provide any details on those writings.

They are looking into the relationship between the two men. Starr owns the home, and Anderson was living there.

Leatherman lives across the street from Starr's home and told NewsChannel 36 he saw the two men together for the first time over the weekend.

"Saturday he (Starr) came over. I was chopping wood in yard, and he asked if he could have some of the firewood," Leatherman said. "He introduced this guy that I'd never seen before and said it was his adopted son."

Leatherman said he didn't believe the story, and, in retrospect, he can't believe what happened next.

"He (Anderson) was wearing a knife on his side, and Steve said that he had given it to him as a gift," Leatherman said. "And then the guy said, 'Well, it's not very sharp. Do you have a sharpening stone that I could borrow?' And then this happens."

Anderson is charged with murder and is being held in jail without bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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