Emily Starnes, 16-year-old accused in N.C. cabbie murder, helped plan attack, says D.A.

Investigators say two 16-year-old girls have been arrested and charged with murder in the 2011 slaying of a North Carolina cab driver. According to CBS affiliate WBTV, Consandra Tyree and Emily Starnes are also charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the death of Adam Williams, who investigators say was stabbed to death after picking up passengers from a Hickory restaurant. Starnes is seen in this photo.
Hickory Police Dept.
Emily Starnes, booking photo
Hickory Police Department

(CBS) HICKORY, N.C. - The 16-year-old North Carolina girl charged with murder in the death of a cab driver hid in the getaway car while two others robbed and killed 32-year-old Adam Williams in August 2011, the district attorney alleged in court on Tuesday.

Photos: Consandra Tyree and Emily Starnes

The Hickory Record newspaper reports that Emily Starnes and Consandra Tyree, 16, are among four people facing charges that they lured Yellow Cab Co., driver Williams to a Fuddruckers parking lot, robbed him of $39 and killed him.

Prosecutors say that Camyron Johnson and Matthew Hopkins, both 23, stabbed Williams in his face and neck. He died later at the hospital.

District Attorney Sean McGinnis told the court that Starnes and Tyree helped plan the robbery, supplied the phone to call the cab, hid the getaway pickup truck, and saw Hopkins get out of the truck with a knife, reports the Record.

"Ms. Starnes was instructed to back the truck up out of sight," McGinnis said. "She said she heard thumping or something like it going on. Matthew Hopkins comes back covered in blood."

But Starnes' attorney says his client was not present at the time of the murder.

"She shouldn't have left in the car when she observed blood on the two codefendants," he said. "But as far as murder, she had no knowledge. Maybe she should have known, maybe she should have done something, but she was a 16-year-old child who was scared."

Superior Court Judge Robert Kincaid said Starnes was "a principal in the crimes, participated, gave advice and perhaps planned" before setting her bond at $230,000 for the murder, reports the Record.

Complete coverage of the N.C. cabbie murder on Crimesider