RALEIGH, N.C. – A man from Raleigh, North Carolina, has been taken into custody after allegedly attempting to orchestrate a murder plot against a man involved in a car accident that resulted in the death of the suspect’s mother in 2016. Rhett Michael Barlow was arrested by Wake Forest Police on Saturday for reportedly soliciting someone to kill Donald Caulder, Jr.
Nearly eight years ago, Caulder was driving a dump truck along Capital Blvd. when he collided with Barlow’s mother, Michelle Barlow, a high school teacher. During a court appearance, prosecutors revealed that Barlow had purchased firearms and made efforts to position himself closer to Caulder, the intended target.
Investigators with the State Highway Patrol stated that there was no evidence at the crash scene indicating that Caulder attempted to brake or swerve to avoid the collision. Caulder, who was 29 at the time, faced charges of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed. Authorities believed that driver fatigue or distraction contributed to the crash.
At the memorial service for Michelle Barlow, her children, including Rhett, were observed mourning her passing. Despite the tragic loss, Michelle’s husband expressed forgiveness towards Caulder. After his arrest, Rhett Barlow was transported to the Wake County Detention Center and is being held under a $1 million secured bond.
The ongoing investigation revealed that the individual approached by Barlow to aid in the plot will not face charges, as he came forward to report the situation to the police. The North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) confirmed that Barlow has been a member of the 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based out of Charlotte, since 2019.
The case serves as a sobering reminder of the long-lasting impact of car accidents and the complexities of coping with the loss of a loved one. The investigation continues as authorities work to ensure justice is served in this troubling incident.