Prosecutors have decided not to seek the death penalty against a Claremont man accused of killing a Good Samaritan on an icy Catawba County road in January.
Marvin Jacob Lee, 28, still faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, prosecutors said in announcing their decision not to pursue capital punishment against Lee.
Prosecutors are not releasing why they decided against seeking the death penalty in the case, said Nathan Key, spokesman for the Catawba County District Attorney’s Office.
Jefferson Lee Heavner, a 26-year-old single dad, was shot and killed when he and several others went to help a driver whose car spun out on Mathis Church Road in the Bandys community about 5:20 p.m. Jan. 22.
When the stranded driver, later identified as Lee, became belligerent, the Good Samaritans called police to come help him, Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said at the time. “They thought he was drunk or on dope and said, ‘Let’s just call the law and let them deal with it,’” Reid said.
As they called, Lee took out a pistol and started shooting, the sheriff said. The group ran, but a bullet hit Heavner, who fell. Reid said Lee walked to Heavner, stood over him and shot him “numerous times.”
Lee returned to his car, where deputies found him passed out, Reid said. SWAT members pulled Lee from his car. He awoke as they struggled to pull him out and he tried to resist, Reid said.
Lee also faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle. He remained in the Catawba County Jail without bail Thursday.
A Go Fund Me site raised $32,655 for Heavner’s funeral expenses and for his son, then 17 months old. The contributions from 808 people far surpassed the $25,000 goal.