LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- One man is accused of murdering a husband and wife in a home in Lincolnton on July 26, according to the Lincolnton Police Department.
Authorities were called to Broome Street in Lincolnton after two bodies were discovered in the home by neighbor Justin Hester around 10 a.m.
Michael Vincent, 57, was found shot in the back and his wife, 52-year-old Bonnie Vincent was murdered in the home, too, officials said. The couple had lived in the home for more than 20 years.
On Thursday afternoon, officials said they arrested Wilbert Lester Fair, 43, and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.
I thought since he has pancreatius, he had an attack. I stepped a foot in the door with both feet and I was going to help him and I kept saying 'Mike, Mike.' I look over and there lays his wife, Hester said.
Hester said he last saw the couple on Monday. He knocked on the door Tuesday and did not get a response.
He was laid over the coffee table with bullet wounds in his back. I couldn't see his face or anything because he was slumped over, Hester added.
I am so shocked. It could have been anybody else, anybody else around here and it would not be as hard on us all as these people, said family friend Annette Hester.
Brad Sigmon said he saw the couple on Sunday.
She was carrying her Bible like they do every Sunday. They walk back and forth to church. They always got along--never heard them argue, never had problems with people in the neighborhood, Sigmon said.
Lincolnton Police will not say how they believe the couple died.
Neighbors said the couple was friendly and had started walking each Sunday to the Massapoag Baptist Church near their house.
The Pastor, Reverend William Stanley, said Michael Vincent had just been baptized in the church last month.
He was asking me questions. He didn't know anything, just questions about what did it take to be a Christian and I answered as best I could, Rev. Stanley said.
Residents who live nearby describe the small neighborhood as being rough at best.
It's really bad, said Kendra Goins as she watched police gathering evidence from the Vincent's home. It is a drug-use neighborhood. Drugs, marijuana, everything.
Rev. Stanley shook his head remembering his prayers at last Sunday's service. He said he told the congregation, including the Vincents, You all never know, you might not be back in church next Sunday.