Local News

911 Tapes Released In Johnston Businessman's Death

Posted July 21, 2006

— A Johnston County businessman was found shot to death in his home earlier this week. Now, 911 tapes reveal new information about the former police officer's death.

Tiffany Bassett, the live-in girlfriend of Keith West, has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder. She and her mother, Mary Weidner, made the first 911 call early Tuesday morning, claiming she returned home and found him dead.

"I grabbed his shoulder and tried to shake him and wake him up, and I felt cold and I hollered at him," said Weidner on the 911 recording.

After Weidner described finding West, the owner of West-Tek Inc., shot to death in his bed, Bassett got on the phone and described where he was found and his injuries.

The women said they left the home together to take in their car for repairs. When they returned, they claimed that they found West shot in the head.

After a sheriff's deputy got on the line, Weidner said that West did not shoot himself and that when they left, West was in his bed. She also said when the women returned home, the back door was found open.

"We know the back door was not open when we left," said Weidner.

Bassett and West had a 9-month-old daughter together. Court papers show Weidner requested custody of her grandchild on the day of the murder, before deputies arrested Bassett. The order claims there is substantial danger of injury to the child.

The family refused comment on the events surrounding West's death. Authorities said the incident is still under investigation.

The court granted Weidner temporary custody of Bassett and West's daughter. Bassett remains in jail without bond. She's due back in court next month.

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