Teen girls arrested for Hickory cabdriver murder


HICKORY, N.C. - Two 16-year-old girls were arrested on murder indictments Saturday in the Aug. 23, 2011, slaying of cabdriver Adam Williams.

Emily Katherine Starnes, of Little River Road in Hildebran, and Consandra Nicole Tyree, of Ninth Tee Drive in Newton, were arrested and charged with murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Both girls are being held under no bond in the Catawba County jail.

Both girls had been previously arrested on Oct. 5, 2011, and charged with obstruction of justice. Investigators said the girls were not honest when they were asked what they knew about the killing.

When they were arrested, Starnes was a student at East Burke High School. Tyree had recently enrolled in Maiden High School, but had previously been enrolled at East Burke as well.

Additional investigation only strengthened the investigators’ conviction that the teens knew far more than they were willing to say about Williams’ death. After meeting with the district attorney’s office, the decision was made to charge Starnes and Tyree. They were indicted Monday.

“They were the two girls that were with the suspects on the night on the cab driver’s murder,” said Capt. Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department. “They were heavily involved; they were involved before, during and after the murder.”

Five people have now been arrested in connection with Williams’ slaying.

Camyron Johnson, 22, of Hickory, Matthew Hopkins, 22, of Connelly Springs, and Robert McElwee, 18, of Hickory, were arrested three days after Williams was killed. Johnson and Hopkins were charged with murder. McElwee was charged with accessory after the fact.

Williams, 32, was killed after having worked for Yellow Cab Company for two weeks.

The night Williams was slain, he had been dispatched to the Fuddruckers parking lot near the intersection of U.S. 70 and Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard at about 10:30 p.m.

Williams was attacked and stabbed shortly after he arrived. He struggled to the door of the Longhorn Steakhouse and was bleeding from slashes to his face and throat. Employees called an ambulance, which took Williams to Frye Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Williams had been working for about 4½ hours the night he was killed and had taken in $39 in cab fares.

Starnes and Tyree are scheduled to appear in court on May 14.

“They’re older than 16. They have been charged and will be treated as adults,” Whisnant said.