Granite Falls man charged in Catawba with murder
A Granite Falls man was charged with murder Wednesday after a Newton woman he attacked was hit by a tractor-trailer as she ran away from him, the Catawba County Sheriff's Office said.
Aaron Obedee Compton Jr., 49, whose most recent address was listed as 477 Sunset St., went to a Walmart to purchase a knife, then to the home of Tabatha Spake Heavner, 40, of 2854 Rock Ford Road in Newton about 4:30 a.m. He then broke out a window and climbed in the house, according to Sheriff Coy Reid of the Catawba County Sheriff's Office. Compton is accused of stabbing Heavner, then forcing her outside and into the passenger side of her vehicle, which Compton then drove south down U.S. 321.
As the vehicle crossed into Gaston County, Heavner jumped out. Compton pulled over, ran back to Heavner and stabbed her several more times, the press release said. Heavner fought back and got away, but as she fled, she was struck by a tractor-trailer and killed.
The press release said Compton got back into her vehicle and drove back to Catawaba County, where he called the communications center and was told to stop at Walgreen's on N.C. 150 to wait for deputies, who arrested him about 6:45 a.m.
Compton also was charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
A woman who was at Compton's house Wednesday, who declined to give her name, said Heavner and Compton had dated off and on for the past couple of years, had been living together at the home on Rocky Ford Road and were planning to get married until they had a falling out about three weeks ago.
"He agreed to leave the house, and my sister gave him a place to stay," said the woman, who lives in Maiden. "His mom died about a month and a half ago. We all knew he was depressed and was having a really hard time.
"He told me they would work it out, that he just needed to let her do her thing, and she would come back to him. He loved her dearly."
Compton was charged in Caldwell County with first-degree rape and convicted in 1994 of second-degree rape. He was also convicted in 1987 of assault on a female, according to records filed at the clerk of courts office. Compton also had filed a petition in Caldwell County to terminate his sex offender registry status, which is still pending, records showed.