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from left: Justin Michael Strawser (shot & killed during standoff) & Ashlee Louise Klepfer (previously arrested)
courtesy of Iredell Co. Sheriff's Office

Three Juveniles Charged in Connection with March 9 Murders

Three male juveniles have been charged in connection with a double homicide on March 9 in Mooresville that also left one suspect dead. A 17-year-old and a 15-year-old have both been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit murder. All the charges are felonies. Another 15-year-old has been charged with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon on law enforcement personnel and possession of methamphetamine, along with misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon. The new charges are the result of an investigation conducted by Iredell County Homicide Investigators. The investigation has now concluded.

The murder victims were identified as 22-year-old Eduardo Cordova of Mooresville and 24-year-old Caleb Loper of Lincolnton. The victims were found at a residence on Home Drive in Mooresville. A third victim was also shot and was taken to a medical center with life-threatening injuries.

Evidence on the scene led Deputies to a residence on Ostwalt Amity Road near Troutman. At that residence, Deputies were confronted by a male in the home armed with a rifle and wearing body armor. The armed suspect fired at Deputies, forcing Officers to secure a perimeter around the house.

Hostage Negotiators contacted the male suspect, identified as Justin Michael Strawser, and attempted to get him to come out. Officers learned that there were four teenage juveniles in the home. The juveniles were uncooperative and refused to exit the residence. During negotiations, Strawser, confessed to his involvement in the homicides on Home Drive earlier that evening.

For several hours, Negotiators attempted to talk with Strawser and to persuade the juveniles to come out of the home, but Strawser continued firing his weapon at the Deputies. After negotiations failed, non-lethal gas was introduced into the house. The four juveniles then came out of the home and were secured by Emergency Response Team Officers. Strawser then exited the home, still wearing body armor and shooting directly at Deputies. Deputies returned fire, resulting in Strawser’s death.

Homicide Detectives continued their investigation into the murders on Home Drive. Witnesses said they saw three suspects leaving the scene, one of whom was Justin Strawser. Detectives executed search warrants at Home Drive and Ostwalt Amity Road. Evidence collected included electronic devices, firearms, and D.N.A.

Investigators determined that two of the four juveniles in the home on Ostwalt Amity Road had accompanied Strawser to the Home Drive location and were involved in the homicides. Investigators also determined that another juvenile had fired shots at Deputies during the standoff.

Two of the juveniles are currently being held in South Carolina and the third is being held in a juvenile detention facility in North Carolina awaiting upcoming juvenile court proceedings.

40-year-old Ashlee Louise Klepfer (who was Strawser’s wife) was arrested on March 12 on felony counts of accessory after the fact, possession of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to sell or deliver meth, five counts of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and four counts of failure to secure firearms from a minor. She was also charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. She was jailed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $1,050,000 secured bond. She’ll appear in District Court on June 12.