China Grove man sentenced to life in prison for 2016 murder

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2019

SALISBURY — A China Grove man was sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 stabbing death of a co-worker.

David Myron Dover, 57, was convicted when jurors returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the death of 79-year-old Arthur Lee “Buddy” Davis.

Davis’ boss, Terry Bunn, the owner of Terry’s Auto Sales in Kannapolis, reported to the Kannapolis Police Department that Davis did not show up for work. Bunn said he tried to reach Davis by phone but was unsuccessful.

Bunn went to Davis’ home on Chris Ann Lane and used a screwdriver to open the locked front door. Bunn said he found Davis dead in a back bedroom and called 911.

Two days before Davis was found dead, investigators said, Dover had asked to borrow money from him, and Davis refused.

According to Davis’ daughter, Charlotte, her father often had large sums of money with him. Investigators spoke with Dover at his China Grove home as well as his girlfriend at the time, Carol Carlson. The couple gave them permission to search their home. Investigators found two shirts and a pair of jeans with a reddish-brown stain that appeared to be blood.

Dover voluntarily went to the Kannapolis Police Department and admitted calling Davis but denied involvement in his death. He was released the same day but was later arrested for driving infractions.

A woman told detectives that Dover bought a small amount of crack cocaine from her because he didn’t have much money but later returned with a lot of money. Dover admitted that he bought the drugs but said the money he used came from a neighbor.

In a jail-recorded phone call, authorities said Dover told his girlfriend that he hid about $3,000 in a trash can outside their Haven Trail home. She and Dover both denied knowing where the money came from, according to court documents.

In another phone call from jail, Kannapolis detectives discovered that Dover’s girlfriend sent him a letter that they said incriminated him and “put him there” at Davis’ home. The letter was found in Dover’s jail cell.

Dover’s cellphone records showed he was near Chris Ann Lane the day Davis was killed, not at home.

Dover will not be eligible for parole.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said her office appreciates the work of the Kannapolis Police Department on the investigation.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.