Mocksville woman sentenced to over 18 years in the 2016 stabbing death of Barry Dean Hepler

Published 12:28 am Thursday, May 18, 2017

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — A Mocksville woman accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Barry Dean Hepler will spend between 18 to 23 years in prison after a plea hearing this week.

Satonia Yvette Gray, 26, was charged May 17, 2016, with first-degree murder. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday.

She will receive credit for the 364 days she has spent in the Rowan County Detention Center awaiting trial.

Rowan authorities say a verbal argument turned deadly when Gray got mad at Hepler and stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

Detectives had said Hepler managed to walk next door to his parents’ home where and call 911 for help. When detectives arrived, Hepler was lying on the living room floor with several stab wounds in his chest area.

Gray was seen in the mobile home park after the attack with a knife in her hand, but she had left before law enforcement officers arrived. Warrants were issued for her arrest. Authorities found Gray and her vehicle at a Mocksville apartment complex about five hours after the incident.

Gray was wearing bloody clothes when they found her, and she confessed to killing Hepler, authorities said.

The attack happened at Hepler’s home at 139 Cone Drive in Woodleaf Park, a mobile home park just off N.C. 801.

Gray was said to have stayed at Hepler’s home on occasion. Authorities have said the two were were not in a romantic relationship.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.