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Jurors watch crime scene video in Jeff Steen murder trial

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Jurors looked on intently this morning as they watched a 30-minute video captured by law enforcement of theNov. 6, 2013, crime scene of the murder of 87-year-old J.D. Furr.

Furr’s grandson, Jeff Steen, is on trial in his death.

Jeff Steen could also face prison time, if convicted, of attempting to kill his mother, Sandra Steen.

Rowan County Sheriff’s investigator Ron Mesimer recorded the video, which showed the layout of the Richfield farm, an outbuilding on the property used by Sandra Steen, a metal shed where Furr stored tools, the location Sandra Steen was found on the property and the body of J.D. Furr.

Rowan District Attorney Brandy Cook also took Mesimer through evidence he’d collected at the scene. The evidence included cheek swabs of both Sandra and Jeff Steen as well as a set of keys that belonged to Sandra Steen and a pocketknife and pistol that were found in Furr’s pocket.

The evidence had been sent to the SBI crime lab for testing. According to Mesimer the lab only tests 10 items. Investigators also sent some evidence to a crime lab in Virginia for testing.

Rowan investigators have said they believe Furr was killed because of Jeff Steen’s money problems. The belief was that if Furr were dead, all of his money and estate would go to Sandra Steen. Furthermore, if Sandra Steen were dead, then the theory is that the money would go to her son, investigators have said.

Jeff Steen is a accused of beating his grandfather to death with a potato hoe and choking his mother into unconsciousness. She would later recount to investigators how, when she came to, her son was standing over her. The gardening tool, which could be seen in the video, was found lying next to Furr’s lifeless body.

The other items shown in the video where Sandra Steen was found included dentures, paperwork and one of her shoes.  J.D. Furr still had his Beretta pistol, a pocketknife, a screwdriver and wrench in his pockets, which Mesimer showed the jury this morning.

So far Mesimer has been the only witness to testify thus far in court. He will continue on the stand during the evening session of court.

See more in Thursday’s Post.

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