Union County man accused of fatally stabbing 87-year-old after being 'evicted'

Union County man accused of fatally stabbing 87-year-old after being 'evicted'
Smithson
Smithson
(Coleen Harry | WBTV)
(Coleen Harry | WBTV)

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man has been charged Thursday in the deadly stabbing of an 87-year-old Union County man from 2017.

Deputies responded to the 3100 block of Gribble Road on Sept. 6 and found Sim Augusta Flowe dead with multiple stab wounds.

According to family members, the man who mows Flowe's lawn was not able to get inside the house so he asked Stallings Police to do a welfare check.  When Stallings police realized the house was located in Indian Trail, they notified the Union County Sheriff's Office.

Family members say Flowe was found inside his office, and the door to the office was locked. Flowe owns Sandy Valley Mobile Homes and lived alone, according to family members.

On Thursday, deputies said 51-year-old Stephen D. Smithson was charged with first-degree murder. Deputies say Smithson was a former tenant of Flowe and lived in a nearby trailer park.

Detectives believe Flowe had allegedly evicted Smithson while he was incarcerated in the Mecklenburg County Jail during the spring of 2017. After Smithson was released from jail, he reportedly visited Flowe to "discuss a place to live," according to deputies. Deputies believe that's when Smithson allegedly stabbed Flowe to death.

Smithson also faces a probation violation and was placed in the Union County Hail with no bond. He is expected to appear in court on March 27.

Sheriff Eddie Cathey released this statement Thursday:

"Our detectives, crime scene investigators and deputies did excellent work in resolving this case. At times, it seemed as though leads had dried up but they refused to give up.  I am proud of them as well as the SBI agents who helped clear this case.  Although we can't bring Mr. Flowe back, hopefully we can provide some closure for his family and friends."

Governor Roy Cooper and Crime Stoppers both offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who had information in this killing.

If you have any information, you can call deputies at 704-283-3789.

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