A 43-year-old habitual felon has been charged with killing a Lincolnton couple discovered slain by a neighbor in their home last week.
Lincolnton police said Wilbert Lester Fair had become a person of interest in the investigation, but after examining evidence and conducting interviews, officers arrested him Thursday.
On July 26, a concerned neighbor found Michael Vincent, 58, and his 53-year-old wife, Bonnie Vincent, dead inside their home on Broome Street in Lincolnton. Police said the neighbors had not seen the Vincents in two days.
Neighbors described them as a happy couple. They said Bonnie Vincent had organized the neighborhood community watch.
Fair is being held without bond in the Lincoln County jail, charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation.
Police Chief Rodney Jordan has told the Observer that there was no sign of forced entry and no indication of robbery, but police have revealed few other details about the case. They did not elaborate on what evidence led them to Fair, who lives about 1 1/2 miles away from the Vincents home.
The cause of death and motive is still not being released in order to protect the integrity of the case throughout the investigation and court proceedings, police said in a statement.
Court records show Fair has a long criminal record dating back to the 1980s with convictions that include forgery, selling drugs, assault on a female, breaking and entering and multiple counts of larceny. In 2000, he was convicted of being a habitual felon.
Fair was most recently released from prison in November 2010 after serving about three months for misdemeanor larceny, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
The investigation into the killings is ongoing. Police ask that anyone with information about the case or anyone who had dealings with Fair during the past week call Lincolnton police at 704-736-8900.
Staff writer Joe DePriest and researcher Maria David contributed.