A Morganton man will spend the next 25 years in prison after pleading guilty in Burke County Superior Court on Monday, March 20, 2017, to attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Stacy Heatley, 44, was given an active prison term of 25 to 31 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.
Heatley and a female co-defendant were involved in an assault and robbery at a residence on Pete Brittain Road on Dec. 16, 2016. The victim, who was helping the co-defendant move out of a mobile home, was tied up and beaten in the head with a hammer then robbed of $6,500 in cash and his pickup truck.
The victim’s truck was recovered in Marion, and the defendants later were arrested at a Winston-Salem hotel after numerous people contacted law enforcement officers about their location.
Heatley admitted his involvement, telling investigators that he hit the victim with the hammer when he saw him hugging on the co-defendant. He later smashed a glass chicken on top of the victim’s head after he had been bound. He also told investigators that he and the co-defendant planned to rob the victim and had engaged in such behavior before.
The co-defendant has a July 2017 court date and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The victim had severe injuries and was transported by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he was treated for multiple skull fractures and swelling on his brain. The injuries were described as life-threatening, and he was hospitalized for more than two weeks.
Det. Daniel Strauss led the investigation for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Michelle Lippert prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
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