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Documents reveal new details in double homicide



Staff Writer


Additional details surrounding last month’s double homicide in Lincolnton have continued to emerge as the Times-News reviews public documents in the case.

Police charged Wilbert Lester Fair, 43, of Cloverleaf Lane in Lincolnton, Aug. 2 with two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of Broome Street couple Michael and Bonnie Vincent, whose bodies were discovered inside their home the morning of July 26, officers said.

Lincolnton Police Lt. Tony Hallman and Officer Dwayne McAllister were first to arrive on scene around 11:25 a.m. and verify the residents were dead inside their living room, completing a “safety clearance” of the property, according to a probable cause affidavit the Times-News examined this week.

The Times-News is awaiting autopsy reports requested Wednesday from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill in order to learn more about the couple’s cause of death, which police have chosen not to release.

The victims’ friend and former neighbor, Justin Hester, told police he first found the bodies, according to the affidavit.

In the affidavit, officers said Hester opened the home’s unlocked door after he knocked and received no response. Hester also told police he heard dogs barking at the residence and that both bodies had blood on them, the affidavit said.

The affidavit did not include further clues about how the victims died, though Hester’s previously comments to the Times-News generally indicated a violent death with head injuries to both husband and wife.

A man other than Hester reported the incident to the Communications Center, according to the 911 call made around 11:16 a.m.

“We believe the inhabitants are dead,” the caller told the female operator.

The man, who explained that he lived across the street from the Vincents, proved calm at the beginning of the call but quickly became uncooperative with the operator, demanding that she let him “talk for a second.”

His voice proceeded to get louder after she requested his personal information. “You ain’t listening,” he told the operator. “My neighbor come running to us and said that they (the Vincents) wasn’t answering the door and it smelled inside. That’s all we know…I wasn’t there.”

Police are not releasing how the suspect and victims knew each other but have said they were acquaintances.

Fair’s criminal record lists at least 10 felony convictions, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction website.

He remains behind bars without bond with his next court appearance now scheduled for Aug. 28, not Aug. 22, as previously reported.


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