Charge is now murder, but man remains free

Aug. 17, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

The criminal charge against a Morganton man accused of failing to report the killing of a man who had been reported missing in Caldwell County in August 2013 was increased earlier this month to murder, but he remains out of jail while awaiting trial.

Jacob Dean Coley, 18, of N.C. 126 reportedly told investigators that David Matthew "Big Pun" Higgins, 33, of Jim Wall Street in Morganton, a neighbor, came to his house in the early morning hours of Aug. 11, 2013, and told Coley that he shot Damond Lamont "Peanut" Kincaid, 31, and dumped his body.

Authorities in Caldwell County say Kincaid, who lived in Winston-Salem but had relatives in Caldwell and still used a Caldwell address, was reported missing on Aug. 14 and was last seen Aug. 10 in Granite Falls with Higgins in a Hummer that belonged to Higgins' uncle. When investigators caught up to the Hummer and searched it, they found two small-caliber bullet casings in the back seat and blood stains in the front passenger seat.

Kincaid's headless body and other remains were found in the Linville Gorge area Aug. 19. 

Coley was arrested Aug. 19 on a charge of accessory after the fact to murder. His bond was set at $100,000, but on Oct. 15  Judge Thomas Edwards reduced that to $24,500. Coley posted bond and was released under the conditions that he live with his grandmother, remain at the house from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day, not have alcohol, guns or any deadly weapons, and have no contact with Higgins.

Two weeks ago, on Aug. 4, Coley was indicted by a Burke County grand jury on a charge of murder. When the warrant was served two days later, Judge Robert Ervin left Coley's bond conditions unchanged.

Coley's attorney, James Ayers, said Friday he did not know why the murder charge was sought, and he declined to say why the bond remained at $24,500 despite the murder charge.