The girlfriend of a Cleveland County man fatally shot in 2009 was charged with first-degree murder in the case on Friday, a day after the arrest of a man described as her accomplice.
Timothy Thomas was shot and killed as he left his home in the 1200 block of Mary’s Grove Church Road, south of Cherryville, to go to work.
The investigation spanned two states and “a multitude of leads,” Sheriff Alan Norman said.
With help from the State Bureau of Investigation, sheriff’s investigators arrested and charged Samantha Davis Zander, 35, and Ralph Edward Hiebert, 61. They were jailed without bail.
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Hiebert and Zander worked together at Transportation Administration of Cleveland County, a Shelby-based transportation service, “and had a close relationship,” Norman said. According to the sheriff, evidence shows Hiebert shot Thomas and that Zander helped plan the shooting.
“We decided a couple of months ago to start fresh with this case and start at the beginning,” Norman said. “I am extremely proud of the investigators who worked this case.”