One charged in East Arcadia murder, body disposal

Jim Robert Goins
Jim Robert Goins

An apparent roommate of a Durham man found dead in the Cape Fear River has been arrested for the killing.

Jim Robert Goins
Jim Robert Goins

Jim Robert Goins, 41, was arrested in Wake County by U.S. Marshals and Bladen County Sheriff’s  deputies, according to BCSO Spokesman Mac Warner. Goins is being held on a charge of first degree murder pending a first appearance in Bladen County today.

Kenneth Ross Covell

Goins is alleged to have killed Kenneth Ross Covell, 54, in East Arcadia during an altercation in the early morning hours of Aug. 18. He then  allegedly dumped Covell’s body off the N.C. 11 bridge at Black Rock, on the Bladen Columbus line. Teams from Columbus and Bladen began searching the area Friday after developing information about a possible killing. Covell’s body was found Saturday, hung up in a debris pile downstream from the bridge, near Golf Course Road in Columbus County.

The two men shared the same address – 203 Pekoe St., Durham. Both had criminal records.

Goins was convicted in Bladen County Superior Court of first degree burglary in 2015, according to prison records. He was released in 2019 on parole. He had previous convictions for theft, property and firearm violations in Brunswick, New Hanover and Bladen counties, stretching back to 1996.

Covell most recently was placed on probation for a DWI conviction in Orange County in 2019.

The cause of death has not been released, and the investigation is continuing.

About Jefferson Weaver 1879 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at