A Lincoln County murder suspect appeared disoriented and disheveled Monday morning during his first court appearance.
Jerry Alvin Black Jr., 41, of 1225 Untold Way in Lincolnton, told Judge Ali B. Paksoy that he was not aware of the charges he faced and that he had no intention of hiring his own attorney.
Paksoy denied the suspect bond.
Black is accused of killing girlfriend, 42-year-old Jennifer Baumgardner Lee Costner, at their residence Friday afternoon.
According to Lincolnton Police Chief Rodney Jordan, Costnerâ€™s death was initially reported to police as a possible suicide.
Investigators said Black claimed she died while he was napping on the couch, but police noted the scene was nothing short of a murder.
Costner sustained multiple stab wounds and head trauma, authorities said. According to Kim Green, public information officer for Emergency Medical Services, Costner was in cardiac arrest when EMS crews arrived on scene around 1:30 p.m.
Public records show that Blackâ€™s no stranger to the law.Heâ€™s been in and out of handcuffs for decades for drug-related charges, assault charges, larceny, DWI and a bomb threat, and according to the North Carolina Department of Correction, he has at least three felony convictions on his record.
The Clerk of Courtâ€™s Office said Marty Shuford, of Lewis & Shuford, P.A., in Lincolnton, is representing Black but that a prosecutor has yet to be assigned to the case.
Authorities at Wake Baptist Seminary Hospital in Winston-Salem are performing an autopsy on Costnerâ€™s remains.
Costner is the cityâ€™s first homicide victim of 2012 and the second victim in four years, investigators said.