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LENOIR, NC (WBTV) -
The man accused of killing a homeless person behind the Lenoir Mall last month has confessed doing it.
24-year-old Cory Travis Vanover spoke to WBTV's Steve Ohnesorge, moments after he was taken into custody at the Caldwell County Magistrate's office Wednesday night.
Vanover explained why he committed the crime. "I was inebriated, the man made a sexual pass toward me and I was so drunk that I didn't make the right decision," he said.
Vanover later said, "Well, I beat him to death."
Three times while responding to questions, Vanover admitted to WBTV he killed the man. He claims the victim made sexual advances towards him, and said, "I beat him to death. I used my feet and my hands."
The body of Wade Michael Taylor, Jr. was found near a makeshift tent late last month. Authorities say it appears he was homeless and living in the tent. An autopsy determined he died from an assault.
Since the discovery, police have been interviewing other homeless individuals in hopes of tracing Taylor's path in the days leading up to his murder.
Police aren't giving many details as to what they think happened but those who have lived on the streets say it is entirely possible the murder happened during an argument. "It could be over about anything," said one man. "Even simple items such as clothing, coats, blankets and so on could make someone a target when bad weather hits, he said.
Taylor's body was found the day after the coldest night of the year.
Vanover is being held without bond in the Caldwell County jail. At his first appearance Thursday he applied for and was granted a court-appointed attorney.
As he left the courthouse after Thursday's hearing, Vanover refused to answer any more questions. "No comment" was all he said.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for February 28th.