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.

  • Front Page

    The Good News May 26

    It’s going to be a wet one all throughout the Memorial Day weekend, so you may want to plan those celebrations indoors. Be sure to log onto for absolutely free to catch up on [Read More]
  • Billy Rue Horton
    Front Page

    Fallen Soldier to be Honored Sunday

    Nathan Larry Lee was eight days past his 21st birthday and a few days from coming home when he was killed in Vietnam in 1971. On Sunday, family and friends will come together to dedicate [Read More]
  • Front Page

    Racist Comments at Game Under Review

    School officials are investigating complaints about racist comments and “poor sportsmanship” at Thursday second game between East Columbus and North Duplin. The ECHS Lady Gators took Tuesday’s contest, 9-5, but North Duplin came out swinging [Read More]
  • Snyder is assisted from the SHERP vehicle after being found in a densely wooded area. (BCSO photo)
    Front Page

    Wanted Man Rescued from Woods

    Brunswick deputies used a large offroad vehicle to rescue – and arrest – a missing man near Leland today. Anthony Andrew Snyder, 40, is being held for failure to appear, probation violations and two counts [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1380 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at