NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Bail was set at $1 million for a Hells Angels gang member charged in the killing of one man and critically injuring another.
Aaron Christopher Stephens, 42, is charged with second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a firearm by a felon in the shooting death of 39-year-old Terry Dale Greenwood, and stabbing of 35-year-old Anthony Paul Lanza.
Deputies with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office responded to Julia Drive at around 1 a.m. Wednesday and found Greenwood and Lanza, both with serious injuries, lying in a cul-de-sac next to a truck. Greenwood was pronounced dead at the scene, and Lanza was taken to the hospital with a serious stab wound to the chest. An autopsy revealed Greenwood had been shot in the face and stabbed eight times.
Stephens was found near his home at 649 Julia Drive, and was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be a concussion, according to his defense attorney.
During Stephens' first court appearance Thursday, prosecutors said Stephens and Greenwood had been involved in an altercation, apparently over Stephens' wife, before the incident on Julia Drive. Prosecutors referenced the fight stemmed from "some sort of relationship" between Stephens' wife, who was present in the courtroom, and Greenwood.
Prosecutors also revealed investigators were able to place Stephens at the scene of the murder based on video and audio evidence obtained from Julia Drive.
"In that video you can see the victim's truck driving down to the cul-de-sac followed shortly by [Stephens'] white Mercedes Benz. You can also hear a gunshot early. You cannot see what happened, but you can hear a gunshot early in the altercation," Assistant District Attorney Dru Lewis said. "An altercation goes on for at least two more minutes where you can hear screams and grunts during the course of that altercation. And then you see the white Mercedes turn around, drive back in the opposite direction, which happens to be back towards his house, with his lights off."
Lewis added investigators discovered blood in both Stephens' vehicle and home, along with other evidence that links him to the murder. However, when interviewed by detectives Stephens reportedly denied being involved in the incident, according to Lewis.
Several weapons, including a handgun and several knives, were found at the scene.
Stephens' defense attorney requested his bail be set at $100,000, arguing he had a stable job in the area and a wife and two children. He also pointed out that although Stephens had prior convictions, those took place 20 years ago and he had "stayed out of trouble" since then.
Prosecutors countered the defense's claim that Stephens had no history of failing to appear for court, stating he did not show up for a Jan. 13 court date in New Hanover County for a misdemeanor.
"That was dismissed," Stephens interjected. "It was for riding a bicycle on the boardwalk."
The state argued for a $2 million bond in addition to pretrial release conditions should he post that bond.
"If you stab somebody eight times and shoot them in the face, you're clearly a danger," Lewis said.
The judge ultimately set the bond at $1 million secured, and ordered Stephens have no contact with Greenwood's family, Lanza, or any known gang members. The judge also ruled should he post bond, he will be under house arrest with electronic monitoring, and subject to random screening for alcohol and drugs.