Judge Sentences The Man Who Killed A Catawba County Good Samaritan During The 2016 Snowstorm
29-year-old Marvin Lee was sentenced to 14 to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree Murder in the 2016 shooting death of then 26-year-old Jefferson Heavner.
Officials say the Heavner family and law enforcement both agreed with the plea arrangement. Heavner’s mother, Lena Eidson, was among several family members to address the court and Lee today during his sentencing.
“My boy is gone, and I can’t bring him back. There’s nothing done here today that can change that. In order for my life to go on without my little boy, I have to forgive, and I do. I forgive the person that took my son’s life,” said Eidson. “I want justice to be done as much as the law will allow. I forgive you, Marvin Jacob Lee, and I will pray for your soul every day.”
The shooting happened during the heavy snowstorm that blanketed the area on January 22, 2016.
According to reports, Lee’s vehicle was stalled on Mathis Church Road when Heavner and some friends stopped to help. When they realized Lee may have been intoxicated, officials say one of the men reached into Lee’s vehicle and took the keys. That’s when Lee started shooting.
An autopsy showed that Heavner died from multiple gunshots to the torso and his extremities.
Lee’s guilty plea also included two counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle.
Original Story from January 26, 2016
NEWTON, NC — “He was a really good person. All he did was stop see if he needed any help,” said Billy Jarrett, friend of victim Jefferson Heavner.
Friends of 26-year-old Jefferson Heavner showed up at Catawba County court Monday to see the man accused of killing him, 27-year-old Marvin Jacob Lee.
“I wanted to get up and jump on him,” said Jarrett.
Friday evening Heavner was driving in Catawba. The single father of a 17-month-old son stopped to be a good Samaritan when he saw a stranded driver. Police say Lee’s car was stuck in the snow along Mathis Church Road. Heavner and two friends stopped to help him out, but police say when Lee got belligerent, the men decided to call police. They say that’s when the shooting began.
“Guy pulled a gun out, shot him, approached him, and continued firing on him,” said Jarrett.
SWAT showed up and found Lee passed out in his car.
Rachel, who didn’t want to be identified, says she went to school with both guys, and knew Lee well.
“I’m shocked. He took a life, of a father, a brother,” said Rachel.
Rachel says she can’t imagine what got into her friend.
“Marvin is not that kind of person. Marvin would have never done this intentionally to anybody,” said Rachel.
Intentional or not, Heavner’s friends say they’ll be there in court to see this through.
“Get justice. Send him to prison,” said Jarrett.
The family has set up this GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and money for his son. So far they’ve raised $22, 500.
Lee is due back in court February 15.