Warrant: Debit card theft linked to Wake Forest homicide
Posted February 18
Wake Forest, N.C. — A Wake Forest man told investigators that he killed his wife last fall while trying to steal her debit card, according to a search warrant released Thursday.
Lanson Paul Stalf, 39, is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 27 death of Stephanie Lynn Autry in her home, at 4411 Iyar Way. He also is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony breaking and entering and a parole violation.
Stalf was arrested three days later in Batesville, Miss.
According to an affidavit from investigators to obtain a DNA sample from Stalf, he told investigators that he had broken into Autry's home by throwing a rock through a back window and then hit her on the head with a hammer. He said he stole Autry's debit card from her purse and strangled her with a wire used to hang a picture in the home while trying to get the PIN from her, the affidavit states.
Police found Autry's body in a locked bathroom with a plastic bag over her head, a blanket covering her and a pair of mismatched shoes on top of her, according to the affidavit. A thin wire around her neck was "looped loosely around the knot of the trash bag" behind her head, the affidavit states.
According to a search warrant released in November, a hammer and a sweatshirt that appeared to have bloodstains on it were found near the bathroom. Stalf told investigators that he had left a bloody sweatshirt in the house after Autry's death, according to the affidavit.
Stalf had been out of prison for less than a month at the time of Autry's death, following a sentence for a 2013 robbery of a PNC Bank branch in Wake Forest.