Crime

Warrant: Wake Forest man confessed to killing his wife

Lanson Paul Stalf
Lanson Paul Stalf

A 39-year-old man charged with killing his wife in October confessed to police that she died as a consequence of injuries he inflicted on her, according to an arrest warrant made public Wednesday.

Lanson Paul Stalf was arrested in Mississippi on Oct. 30, three days after police say he killed his wife, Stephanie Lynn Autry. She was found in her home on Iyar Way in the Shearon Farms subdivision off Capital Boulevard on Oct. 27. Stalf was charged with first-degree murder.

Autry was the mother of a 3-year-old son. The boy’s nanny called police at 10:11 p.m. and asked officers to check on his mother’s well-being.

Police said Stalf fled to Mississippi, where he is also accused of robbing a bank in Hernando, Miss., before his arrest at a motel in Batesville, Miss, about 60 miles south of Memphis.

The day after Stalf’s arrest, two Wake Forest detectives traveled to Mississippi and interviewed him, according to the search warrant made public Wednesday at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.

Stalf told the detectives that he threw a rock through a window of the home on Iyar Way and that he entered through the window. Stalf confessed to striking the woman in the back of the head with a hammer and then taking a wire used to hang pictures to strangle her, according to the search warrant application.

Stalf said he asked Autry for her debit card while strangling her. He stole the debit card from her purse, according to the search warrant.

After finding Autry’s body, investigators collected a sweatshirt from the scene. Stalf described the sweatshirt to the Wake Forest detectives and said it would be smudged with blood stains on the right arm, according to the search warrant.

Stalf also told the detectives than an agent with the Mississippi State Bureau of Investigation collected the shoes he was wearing “while he murdered Autry,” according to the search warrant.

The detectives obtained the search warrant to collect a saliva sample from Stalf that they will compare with evidence found at the home, according to the search warrant.

Autry, 34, died less than two weeks after Stalf was released from prison after serving six months for felony larceny.

Stalf was charged in Wake County in December 2013 with common law robbery, but the charge was eventually reduced to felony larceny from a person. He was sentenced to one year and six months in prison in April, state records show, and began his prison sentence May 7.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @tmcdona75589225

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