A Morganton man is charged with first-degree murder after authorities say a homeless man was assaulted behind a shopping center last month.
Cory Travis Vanover, 24, was being held without bond in the Caldwell County Detention Center.
Vanover is accused in the death of 28-year-old Wade Michael Taylor, Jr., whose body was found in a makeshift campsite he had set up behind the Lenoir Mall on Morganton Boulevard.
Vanover and Taylor were friends, said Lenoir police Capt. Brent Phelps.
Vanover has told police and local television stations that he assaulted Taylor after the man had made a pass toward him. But Phelps said authorities don’t know whether that is true.
Police are still awaiting the results of an autopsy but Phelps said all indications are that Taylor was beaten, and no weapons were used in the assault.
On Wednesday, WBTV captured video of Vanover as he was being taken into custody. In the video, Vanover apologizes for the beating but says he had been drunk and “didn’t make the right decision” after he says the victim made a pass at him, according to the station.