I believe your Sterling Haley may have possibly been the brother of Jesse Haley (b. ~1803. Both were living in the same area of Halifax County, VA in the 1820's. Sterling is listed as paying personal property tax in Halifax County, Va 1822-1825 and Jesse is begins paying taxes in 1824 (when he turned 21). They are listed close together on the non-alphabetized tax lists. In 1825, Sterling, Jesse and a William Haley are all listed close together on the tax list. William Haley disappears from the tax list after 1825 indicating he may have left the county. A Polly Haley appears for the years 1822-1824.
Given their close proximity on the tax lists, it seems reasonable these individuals were somehow related. Have you come across any of these individuals in your research?