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North Carolina Suspect Accused of Plotting Murder of Dump Truck Driver Who Killed Mother in Collision: Cops

N.C. Man Accused of Trying to Hire Someone to Kill Mother's Murderer
Source: Wake County Jail; Unsplash

Rhett Barlow's mother was killed in a traffic accident in 2016. Now, he is accused of trying to hire someone to kill her killer, officials said.

Jan. 8 2024, Published 3:17 p.m. ET

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A man in North Carolina has been arrested after he allegedly tried to have a man killed to avenge the death of his mother in a traffic accident in 2016, according to authorities.

On Jan. 6, Rhett Michael Barlow, 22, was charged with solicitation to commit the first-degree murder of Donald Caulder Jr., 36, the Wake Forest Police Department announced.

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Police did not provide details about the alleged plot.

In March 2016, Caulder was driving a dump truck loaded with logs and towing a Bobcat excavator when he rear-ended Barlow’s mother, high school teacher Michelle Barlow, while she was stopped at a traffic light, the News & Observer reported.

Barlow’s minivan was crushed between Caulder’s truck and a tractor-trailer, officials said.

Caulder, 29 at the time of the deadly incident, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed, according to the News & Observer.

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Police said fatigue or distraction contributed to the crash.

In 2017, Caulder was convicted and sentenced to 12 months probation and a suspended sentence, authorities said.

An inspection conducted on Caulder's truck found that the brakes weren’t wired to the trailer carrying the Bobcat and the logs on the truck weren’t properly secured. The owner of the truck was fined as a result.

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Barlow was arrested at Fort Liberty, where he was training with the National Guard, officials said.

He was taken into custody by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and then handed over to the Wake Forest Police.

He was being held on a $1 million bond.


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