Lenoir Co couple arrested in baby murder case

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The Kinston Department of Public Safety arrested a Deep Run couple on murder charges connected to the 2015 death of a five-month-old baby.

“21 years of police experience and I’ve never seen a child battered that bad,” KDPS Commander Tim Dilday said.

Austin James Potter was found unconscious and not breathing on April 7, 2015 at a home on Darby Avenue. He was pronounced dead at Lenoir Memorial Hospital.

Police initially charged the mother, Heather Nichol Brinkley, and Coty James Potter with Felony Child Abuse.

Police kept investigating and on March 3, 2016, officers re-arrested Brinkley and Potter and charged them with an open count of murder.

Dilday said, “The cause of death was determined to be battered child syndrome. It was determined that over the five month lifespan of the child, he was abused, neglected and battered.”

Both are booked at the Lenoir County Jail without bond.

“Someone has to speak for the child, obviously the parents aren’t speaking for it, so it makes us feel good to close the case,” explained Dilday.

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