Crime & Courts

Man sentenced to life in prison for 2013 Burke County murder

A Morganton man was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole in the 2013 shooting death of an acquaintance who was killed while asleep in the defendant’s Hummer.

After deliberating for three hours, a Burke County jury found 34-year-old David Matthew Higgins guilty of murder in the death of Damond Lamont Kincaid, 31, also of Morganton.

The killing came during a night of drinking and drug use, prosecutors said.

Higgins, the driver of the Hummer, fired three shots from a .22-caliber handgun into Kincaid’s head after Kincaid fell asleep in the vehicle, according to prosecutors.

Higgins’ then-17-year-old neighbor, Jacob Coley, also was in the vehicle and testified that Kincaid had him help dump the body in a remote area of northwestern Burke County.

Coley testified that he helped remove the body because he’d just seen a man killed and feared for his life and the lives of his family members. Coley refuted Higgins’ claim of self-defense, prosecutors said.

Coley pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice in the case and will be sentenced at a later date.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak