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Police identify murder victim

Hendersonville police have identified the victim in a murder last week as James Franklin Stepp III, 48, of Hendersonville. Stepp was shot at 706 Brooklyn Avenue and later pronounced dead at Mission Hospital.

Officers were told that Stepp was shot during an altercation at around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 3. Police have identified Greg Carl Spinella, 36, of Fletcher, as the other person involved in the incident. No charges have been filed at this point. However,  Hendersonville police officers are in close consultation with the District Attorney’s Office as the investigation continues.

Detectives are continuing to follow up on investigative leads. The public is asked to contact the Hendersonville Police Department at (828)-697-3025 with any information regarding the murder.

James SteppJames SteppKnown as “Jim Pup," Stepp was a native and lifelong resident of Henderson County. A 1990 graduate of East Henderson High School, he loved hunting, was an avid outdoorsman, enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson including during many charitable events and loved helping people, especially his friends and family. He was a member of Living Water Baptist Church.

"We find great comfort in the love he had in Jesus Christ and we know now he is at peace and resting comfortably with our Lord," the family said.
The love Jim had for his son and his family was so great he would go to the ends of the Earth, or sacrifice himself for anyone of them, we cannot begin to tell you how much he will be loved and missed, an obituary from Jackson Funeral Home said.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, James F. Stepp Sr. and Patricia Wilkie Stepp and Grady Baynard and Mae Leverette Baynard and several aunts and uncles. He is survived by his son, James Franklin Stepp IV of Flat Rock; his parents, James F. Stepp Jr. and Sheila Baynard Stepp of Flat Rock; a sister, Kimberly Stepp Shepherd, and her husband Joey of Flat Rock; a niece, Haley Blackwell; two nephews, Josen and Brysen Shepherd; a great nephew, Carter Spannagel; many close friends and extended family that he loved dearly and his four-legged friends, Zeke and Honey.
A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Living Water Baptist Church with the Rev. Chris Pace officiating.  Burial will follow at Shepherd Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice in Jim’s name. Condolence cards may be sent to the family at or P.O. Box 945, Hendersonville, N.C. 28793.