Sheriff: Veteran, 87, beaten to death by grandson

Credit: Rowan County Sheriff's Office

Jeff David Steen



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Posted on November 21, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 5:46 AM

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- The Rowan County Sheriff's Office says the grandson of an 87-year-old veteran found beaten to death in early November is the one who committed the act.

Jeff David Steen, 40, is charged with one count of murder for the death of his grandfather, J.D. Furr.

Additionally, Steen is charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the attack on his mother, 62-year-old Sandra Steen.

Sandra was being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit for several days following the assault.  Authorities listed her in critical condition.  Now, the Sheriff's Office says Sandra is continuing the recovery process and is undergoing rehab due to the injuries she sustained in the attack.

The body of J.D. and the seriously injured Sandra were found on an 85-acre farm off of an isolated road in Richfield on November 6.

The Sheriff's Office says Steen is the one who called 911.

(Click here to view scene photos)

NBC Charlotte's Richard Devayne interviewed Steen the day of the murder and assault.

"She told me someone jumped her from behind," Jeff said that day. "I saw she was hurt and bleeding, and then I saw my grandfather beaten to death."

Steen added that they both must have been lying in the yard since last night, according to the few words he got from his mother before she was taken to the hospital.

Neighbor Pam Kemp told NBC Charlotte Thursday night she was relieved.

"I was scared to death. I was staying with my daughter since it happened, just too afraid to stay at my own house at night," said Kemp. "It's a huge relief knowing that they got him."

Kemp said she initially suspected Steen in the crime, based on his action the day of the murder.

"If it had been my mother, beaten so badly, I would be with her. I wouldn't be sitting here on the lawn just hanging out, seeing what was going on. That's when I knew, maybe, he had something to do with it," she said.

Initially, officials told NBC Charlotte that a robbery of the residence may have also occurred.

Steen was arrested at his grandfather's house. Neighbors said he had been staying there since the murder. He was given no bond when presented to the magistrate. His first court appearance is set for Friday morning.

Carlyle Sherrill will represent Steen. Sherrill is also the attorney of record for Casey and Sandy Parsons, the parents of missing Salisbury teen, Erica Parsons.