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Deputies tightlipped as murder investigation continues

Staff Writer


A Lincoln County man accused of stabbing a family friend to death last week is scheduled to make his second appearance in district court next month.
Gary Clinton Farmer, 54, of 346 Grandview Lane, located just south of Lincolnton, first appeared in court on a first-degree murder charge on Monday.
According to the Clerk of Court’s Office, presiding Judge K. Dean Black ordered that Farmer be given defense attorney Douglas Hall, of Hall & Hall Attorneys at Law in Morganton, N.C. The case was also continued until early next month.
Farmer is accused of using some sort of sharp object, which authorities are keeping “mum” about, to stab 31-year-old Donald Lee Hoyle, Jr., 31, of 1310 Clarks Creek Circle in Newton, at his Lincolnton residence on Friday.
The incident occurred just after 9 p.m. However, deputies said they were called to Farmer’s home earlier that evening regarding a dispute between the two men.
Authorities first responded to the area around 8:45 p.m. and spotted “minor blemishes or marks” on both Farmer and Hoyle as evidence of a physical altercation. Charges were not pressed at the time.
When authorities arrived at the residence a second time, Hoyle was lying on the ground in front of Farmer’s mobile home. A man standing over the victim told authorities what had happened and that Farmer was still inside the residence, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.
Hoyle was taken to an area hospital where he later died.
Authorities have yet to release additional information on the incident.
“Since it is an ongoing investigation, we will not discuss details of the case at this time,” Lt. Tim Johnson, head of Criminal Investigations, told the Times-News Monday evening.
Hoyle’s body is currently undergoing an autopsy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Raleigh.
Public records revealed that since 1990, Farmer has only been convicted of misdemeanor offenses in the state. According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, crimes occurred in Lincoln and Iredell Counties and included assault on a policeman, obstructing justice and assault with a deadly weapon.
Hoyle’s criminal record on NC DOC revealed at least two felonies in Lincoln and Gaston Counties for drug possession and larceny, an offense that placed him behind bars for more than a year. He was released from prison in May 2009.
Farmer is set to make his second appearance in a Lincoln County courtroom on Dec. 6.

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