Published 12:00 am Friday, December 6, 2013

SALISBURY — The man charged with killing his grandfather and severely beating his mother at their River Road home in eastern Rowan County last month told investigators he had financial problems and would inherit the property if they died, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
Jeff Steen, 40, of Albemarle, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of J.D. Furr, 87; attempted murder in the beating of Sandra Steen, 62; and one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon.
The affidavit is part of a pair of search warrants Rowan investigators filed this afternoon in the Rowan County Clerk’s Office. The court papers say Furr, found lying on the ground at the back door of his home on Nov. 6, was beaten to death with a hoe. He had several cuts to his head, and the gardening tool was found lying beside him, covered in blood. Furr’s wallet was also lying next to him, empty of any cash.
His daughter was also found lying on the ground.
Once Sandra Steen was well enough to talk with investigators, the warrants say, she told them she and her father had loaned Jeff money in the past. The night before she was beaten, she told her son a payment was due about a week later on a loan she had recently gotten for him.
She said Jeff was at the home, which she shared with her father, to repair a ceiling fan. The three talked and then she showed Jeff a baby doll she’d bought for one of his children, she told investigators. She went to an outside building and, upon returning back into the house, was grabbed from behind. She was being choked and fought back, scratching her assailant on the arm, she said. She blacked out.
During another interview with investigators, Sandra said she struggled in the middle of the night to make her way back into the house, but “passed out several times.”
When she awoke the next morning, Jeff was standing over her, she said, “looking to see if she was alive.” She had been lying on the ground since the attack in 31-degree weather. She suffered from hypothermia, had head trauma and broken ribs, the warrant said.
Her son called 911.
When investigators found scratches on Jeff Steen’s arm, he told them he received them from his mother when he tried to help her that morning. He also said he was injured at work. When detectives spoke with Steen’s co-workers at Norandal, they said he never told them he was injured. Detectives searched Steen’s locker on Nov. 25 and found magazines about mixed martial arts, fitness, guns and fishing, as well as work-related items, including a hard hat.
The suspect is being held in the Rowan County jail without bond.

See more in Saturday’s Post.