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NEW BERN — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court yesterday, QUENTIN THIGPEN, 22, of New Bern, pled guilty to the murder of Covair Frost in April, 2015. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Foster presided over this term of court, and the case was prosecuted in court by Mr. Thomas and Assistant District Attorney Karen Hobbs.

The victim, Mr. Frost, was shot six times as he stepped outside his girlfriend’s apartment in the Craven Terrace community on April 20, 2015. Thigpen was identified as the shooter at the scene, and New Bern Police captured Thigpen within minutes, fleeing the scene on foot. He was in possession of a .40 caliber handgun. During a videotaped interview shortly thereafter, Thigpen attempted to conceal evidence of gunshot residue on his hands by spitting on them and wiping them on his shirt, but forensic testing later showed that residue on the shirt he was wearing.


Investigation by the New Bern Police Department revealed that the killing was a murder for hire. Some days prior to his death, Mr. Frost – a Jones County High School graduate and athletic standout, who was employed by Jones-Onslow EMC – attended a concert organized by Damien Brown. Mr. Frost became involved in a physical altercation with an associate of Brown’s at the concert site, resulting in police being called, and the concert being canceled. Brown, a convicted drug dealer, was furious, and put out word that he would pay $ 2500 to anyone who could “lay hands” on Mr. Frost, which was interpreted as a contract to kill Mr. Frost. The evidence showed that Thigpen had shot and killed Mr. Frost in response to Damien Brown’s offer. (Damien Brown was recently charged, tried, and convicted in federal court for offenses involving drugs and guns, and he is awaiting sentencing in that court.)

Thigpen entered a guilty plea to Second Degree Murder, and Judge Foster sentenced Thigpen to an aggravated sentence of 276 to 344 months in prison (23 to 29 ½ years). He also ordered Thigpen to repay Mr. Frost’s family the costs of the funeral.
Although Judge Foster also recommended that Thigpen get vocational training while in prison, he also ordered Thigpen to be placed in a special gang identification program (SRG, or Security Risk Groups) while in prison, which subjects Thigpen to increased tracking and monitoring in order to stamp out gang affiliations.

The victim Covair Frost’s family was present in court and expressed to the judge through the District Attorney their support of the guilty plea agreement and the prison sentence imposed.