Minister's Killer May Stand Trial

A Franklin County grand jury is set to decide Monday whether a man accused of slaying the minister of a rural church should stand trial for her murder.

Charles Vincent Cobler is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nancy Copin. Copin was pastor of Snow Creek Christian Church in Rocky Mount.

An investigator who talked to Cobler after he was arrested in Ohio April 8 said in court last month that Cobler told him he saw the collection plate at a Palm Sunday service and decided to rob Copin.

Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Ingram said Cobler told him he went to the church and asked to use the phone and the bathroom. He said Cobler called out to Copin that he couldn't find the light, and when she came to help, a struggle began.

Copin's body was found several days later by concerned members of her congregation. An autopsy revealed that the 60-year-old died from blunt force trauma, the result of a beating.

Cobler said he fled with Copin's purse, but found no money in it.


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