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Man killed after cell phone argument

December 1, 2010

A man was shot to death Wednesday by his girlfriend's father after a disagreement about a cell phone.

Randal Douglas Alfonso, 30, of Hickory, died from a shotgun blow to the stomach early Wednesday morning at a home on 5279 N.C. 127 South in Hickory. The man charged in the crime, Mark Steven Bell, 55, of Hickory, is the father of Alfonso's girlfriend.

Bell lives at the residence on 5279 N.C. 127 South in Hickory.
Catawba County Chief Deputy Coy Reid said the family had a domestic dispute late Tuesday night when Alfonso and his girlfriend starting arguing about a cell phone.

Reid said Bell shot Alfonso as a result of the cell phone disagreement.
"(Bell) stepped into the argument," Reid said.

Alfonso lived in an RV van, which was parked near the Bell residence on N.C. 127 South. Reid said he didn't know how long Alfonso lived in the van before his death. Another man, whose name wasn't released, was in Alfonso's vehicle at the time of the shooting, but Reid said he didn't know if the man was also living in the vehicle. The man, who is 30 years old according to the incident report, left the van when he heard a gunshot and ran into the Bell residence.

"He came in and found Alfonso lying on the floor," Reid said.

Only one shot was fired during the incident. Alfonso was struck in the stomach from a shotgun blast, and he died from his injuries.

The Bells' home is across the street from an emergency services response unit, and Reid said the man ran across the street to emergency personnel to tell them Alfonso was shot.

According to the arrest report, Bell had consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of his arrest.

Bell's wife and daughter were at home when he allegedly shot Alfonso. They heard a shot fired, but they didn't witness the murder, Reid said. No one else was injured during the incident.

Bell was in the house when sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene about 1 a.m. He was arrested on warrant and charged with murder at the Catawba County Detention Center in Newton.

Police transported Bell on Wednesday about 8:30 a.m. to Catawba County jail, where he is being held without bond.

Reid said no other domestic charges will be filed in the case.

Bell's first appearance in Catawba County District Court was scheduled for Wednesday.

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