Crime & Courts

Death penalty sought in triple homicide outside Hickory pub

Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty against two men charged in a triple homicide outside J. McCroskey's Irish Pub and Grill in Hickory on April 7.

District Attorney David Learner announced Monday, May 1, 2017, during Catawba County Superior Court that prosecutors will pursue capital punishment in the cases against Dontray Tyrell Cumberlander, 23, and Greydon Keith Hansen, 23.

Justin Michael Aiken, Cody Manood Bouphavong, and Quajuae Alexus Kennedy, all 21, were shot about 2:15 a.m. in the parking lot outside the pub in the 1400 block of 29th Ave Drive NE. Aiken and Bouphavong died April 7 and Kennedy the next day.

Police said no connection existed between the victims and suspects Greydon Keith Hansen and Dontray Cumberlander, both 23 of Hickory, Observer news partner WBTV reported.

Dontray Cumberlander
Dontray Cumberlander Catawba County Jail

Greydon Keith Hansen
Greydon Keith Hansen Catawba County Jail

The suspects had argued with five people in the parking lot before shooting at them while the victims were in a car, police told WBTV. All had been patrons at the pub.

The Catawba County District Attorney’s Office is not saying why prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty against Hansen and Cumberlander. In statement, the office said it made its decision after meeting with Hickory Police and members of the victims’ families and holding internal meetings to review evidence.

Hansen and Cumberlander are charged with three counts of murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill. Both remained in the Catawba County Jail on Monday without bail.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak