Man charged with murder more than 7 years after woman found dead behind Greensboro church

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Jack Leon Coker Jr. and Paula Joy Nicks

Jack Leon Coker Jr. and Paula Joy Nicks

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A man faces a murder charge more than seven years after a woman was killed with blunt force trauma and left behind a Greensboro church, according to Greensboro police.

On Tuesday, detectives arrested Jack Leon Coker Jr., 27, for the alleged first-degree murder of 33-year-old Paula Joy Nicks, of Browns Summit.

Greensboro police said officers were called to God’s House of Deliverance Church at 1212 Randolph St. shortly after 10:15 a.m. on May 25, 2012.

The victim wouldn’t be identified until Sept. 12 of that year after family members saw images of her in the media and came forward. Detectives then matched Nicks’ fingerprints with those on file with a police department in Virginia. 

On Tuesday, police said Nicks died of blunt force trauma, and new information led detectives to identify Coker as a suspect.

Coker was arrested Tuesday shortly after being released from the North Carolina Department of Corrections after serving a sentence for attempted second-degree rape in the Kinston area.

Coker received no bond.

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