N.C. Teen Charged with Murdering Older Roommate, Carved Words into Victim's Body, Say Police

Michael Joseph Anderson (Catawba County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Joseph Anderson (Catawba County Sheriff's Office)

(CBS/WBTV) A North Carolina teen has been charged with murder after his roommate was found dead from apparent gunshot and stab wounds early Monday morning.

Michael Anderson, 19, told reporters as he was taken to jail Monday that he loved 36-year-old victim Stephen Starr, "as a friend," reports CBS affiliate WBTV.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Starr was shot several times with a handgun and a shotgun, suffered several stab wounds and had also been struck several times with an axe.

According to investigators, Starr also had a word carved in his side with a knife, and had several more words written on the front of his body, most likely with a ball point pen.

Deputies would not say what the words were.

Authorities were informed of the gruesome killing that occurred in a home just south of the Hickory, N.C. city limits when Anderson reportedly called 911 around 4:45 a.m. Monday.

"He said he had just shot his roommate and took an axe to him," Reid told WBTV.

Neighbors said Starr had lived in the residence for about eight years, but they were not sure how long Anderson was there.  Anderson confirmed that he had been living in the home and told WBTV his relationship with Starr was all about friendship.

Anderson is charged with murder and is being held without bond in the Catawba County Detention Facility in Newton, N.C., about 10 miles outside Hickory.

Before the door closed behind him to the jail, Anderson reportedly had a message for Starr's family. 

"I'm sorry," he said.

Anderson is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.

Police are searching for a motive for the slaying.