Teen took pills, went 'mad' before killing roommate, according to 911 call - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Teen took pills, went 'mad' before killing roommate, according to 911 call

Stephen Starr (Source: Facebook) Stephen Starr (Source: Facebook)
Michael Joseph Anderson (Photo courtesy of Catawba County Sheriff's Office) Michael Joseph Anderson (Photo courtesy of Catawba County Sheriff's Office)
Investigators at the house on Monday morning. Investigators at the house on Monday morning.

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A 19-year-old man called 911 and reported that he had taken cough medicine, which lead him to brutally kill and then mutilate his roommate.

In a 911 call that was released late Tuesday morning, Michael Anderson, who was charged with murder on Monday, is heard telling the 911 operator that he killed his roommate, Stephen Starr.

Related: Facebook reveals details about murder suspect and victim

"I took some pills and, um, the pills made me go mad and I murdered my roommate," Anderson is heard on the 911 call that was made around 4:45 a.m. Monday. "I shot him three times and then I used an axe and mutilated his body."

Anderson was charged after Starr was found dead early Monday morning in Catawba County.

Anderson is being held without bond at the Catawba County Detention Facility in Newton. 

His first court appearance was Wednesday morning and the court appointed Scott Reilly as Anderson's attorney.  The case has been continued to March 9th for a probable cause hearing.

Authorities say Anderson's call to 911 prompted investigators to the crime scene.

Related: Click here for a transcript of 911 calls (Warning: includes graphic descriptions)

The murder occurred on Ruth Drive in a home in which the two shared just south of the Hickory city limits. In the 911, Anderson said that he took cough medicine and that made him feel "weird". Anderson also talks about having been on ADHD medicine in the past.  Anderson told reporters as he was taken to jail that he loved the victim, Stephen Starr, "as a friend."

In the 911 call, Anderson talked about how the two met, some history between them and alludes to what might have spurred the incident.

"I was straight and I wanted to go bisexual just to experiment and I went to a gay club and I met him and I went to his house," Anderson said in the 911 call. "And he took me in and I turned straight again and he wanted to touch me and stuff and I wouldn't let him and he kept trying and I waited until he went to sleep and then I shot him 3 times and then I mutilated him very badly."

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Starr was shot several times with a handgun and a shotgun. 

He also suffered several stab wounds and had been struck more than once with an axe, Reid said.

The victim also had a word carved by a knife in his side and had several more words written on the front of the body, likely from a ball point pen, said one investigator.

Deputies would not say what words were written.

They did say there was no sign of a struggle, although blood was found throughout the part of the house where the body was found.  

Officials said the murder scene was horrific.

"Probably one of the worst scenes I have seen in my 30 years of law enforcement," Reid said. 

Authorities were tipped off to what had happened after Anderson called 911 around 4:45 a.m.

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

Investigators spent much of Monday at the house looking for clues as to what happened and why.

They removed a computer from the scene and will have it analyzed by an expert.

"We don't have the motive yet," said Reid.

Neighbors said Starr had lived in the doublewide for about eight years, but they were not sure how long Anderson had been around.

"I just met him Saturday," said neighbor Barry Leatherman.

On Monday, Anderson told WBTV his relationship with Starr was all about friendship and confirmed he had been living in the home.

When asked what led to the murder, whether the two had gotten into a fight, Anderson simply said "No." 

Before the door closed behind him to the jail, he had a message for the family of the victim.

"I'm sorry," Anderson said.

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