Teen accused of killing roommate emotionless in first court appearance

Teen accused of killing roommate emotionless in first court appearance


by NewsChannel 36 Staff


Posted on February 15, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 16 at 1:39 PM

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. – The teen accused of attacking his roommate with a gun and an axe, killing him, made his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

Police say 19-year-old Michael Anderson called 911 early Monday morning saying he had murdered his roommate, 36-year-old Stephen Starr, and taken an axe to Starr's head.

Anderson didn’t show any emotion when he was brought before the judge Wednesday, handcuffed and in a prison jumpsuit.

In the 911 call Anderson told the operator, “I waited until he went to sleep and then I shot him three times and then I mutilated him very badly and I’m sorry.”

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

Operator:  Catawba County 911
Caller:  Um.  I’d like to report something
Operator:  Ok.  What’s wrong?
Caller: Um.  I took some pills and um the pills made me go mad and um I murdered my roommate.
Operator: You murdered your roommate?
Caller: Yes
Operator: What do you mean you murdered your roommate?
Caller:  I shot him three times and then I used an axe and mutilated his body.
Operator:  And where is your roommate now? Are you still in the house with him?
Caller:  Yes, I’m right here beside him.
Operator:  What’s your name?
Caller:  Michael Anderson
Operator:  OK Michael. What did you take that made you do this?
Caller: I took, I OD'd on Mucinex DM.  The Dextromethorphan makes me feel a little weird.  I took too many.
Operator:  What is your roommate’s name?
Caller:  Stephen Starr
Operator: And you said you shot him?
Caller:  Yes
Operator:  Ok.  Where is the gun at now?
Caller:  In my hand.
Operator:  In your hand?
Caller:  Yes.
Operator:  OK.  I need you to put the gun somewhere.  Ok?
Caller:  I don’t know what to do now.
Operator:  Listen, I’m going to stay on the phone with you ok?
Caller:  Oh God.  I don’t know what to do now. 

Click here to read the rest of the 911 transcript WARNING: Graphic descriptions

The 911 operator had Anderson sit in a chair by the front door of the home until police arrived.

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.

“I killed my roommate. I can’t believe I just killed my roommate.  My life is ruined,” Anderson told the 911 operator.

Investigators are also looking at Anderson’s Facebook page. He allegedly posted things on the page like, “my killing starts tonight” shortly before calling 911 to report that he had killed Starr.

On Wednesday Starr’s neighbor Susan Kovalik said that Starr introduced Anderson to her as his ‘adopted son’ on Saturday. She said Anderson was quiet and she suspected there was a relationship going on. She also said she was terrified when she heard that Anderson had written on Facebook that he might kill again.

“Oh Lord when I heard he was posting on Facebook about getting other people I thought he could come over and try to get us,” Kovalik said.

Anderson is charged with murder and is being held in jail without bond.  He will be appointed an attorney by the court and was ordered to return to court on March 9 for a probable cause hearing.