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Two men were indicted Monday on murder charges at the Catawba County Justice Center.
The Catawba County Grand Jury indicted Michael Joseph Anderson, 19, of Hickory, and Brian Todd Hieb, 43, of Sherrills Ford, on murder charges stemming from two unrelated deaths. The clerk of court's office said Monday that the indictments don't specify whether the murder charge is first or second degree.
Anderson is charged in the Feb. 14 mutilation and death of Stephen Starr, 36, of Hickory. Anderson and Starr lived together for about a week on Ruth Drive when Anderson allegedly shot Starr three times and took an axe to the man's body. Anderson then called 9-1-1 to alert police to the crime, confessing that too much cough medicine made him "go mad."
Hieb is charged with murder after he allegedly drove drunk Feb. 8 and killed Sandra Campbell, 50, of Denver. Highway Patrol trooper C.M. Trouille said Hieb was traveling north on Slanting Bridge Road at 6:43 p.m. Feb. 8 when he crossed the center line and struck an oncoming truck. The force from striking the truck sent Hieb into the path of Campbell's vehicle.
Campbell was killed instantly, but her 26-year-old son, Darren Moore, who was a passenger in the vehicle, sustained only minor injuries.
According to the Highway Patrol, speed and alcohol were factors contributing to the crash. Trouille told The O-N-E in February that Hieb had a pending DWI charge in Watauga County stemming from an incident in August.
Anderson remains in custody with no bond at the Catawba County Detention Center. Anderson had a probable cause court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, but that appearance will likely be canceled because of Monday's superseding indictment.
Hieb wasn't in custody as of press time Monday, but could be ordered to report to jail soon. When the grand jury hands down an indictment, the Catawba County Sheriff's Office typically issues an order for arrest for the defendant.
The defendant then appears before a magistrate and is given a bond amount and a court appearance date.