National Guard Soldier Faces Charges in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

( – Police in North Carolina arrested a man for trying to arrange the murder of the man who was involved in the 2016 crash that killed the suspect’s mother, WRAL in Raleigh reported.

Rhett Michael Barlow, a 22-year-old member of the North Carolina National Guard, was arrested by Wake Forest Police last Saturday for allegedly asking someone to murder Donald Caulder, Jr.

Caulder rear-ended a minivan driven by Barlow’s mother, Michelle, on March 22, 2016, when the dump truck he was driving failed to stop. The force of the impact sent Barlow’s minivan into the back of a tractor-trailer, crushing the vehicle and killing her.

Investigators found no evidence that Caulder attempted to slow down or swerve to avoid impact.

Caulder, 29 at the time, was charged with failure to reduce speed and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

He pleaded guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to a year’s probation.

In Barlow’s initial court appearance on Monday, prosecutors alleged that on November 28, 2023, Barlow bought two guns at Carolina Gun Runners, a gun shop in Raleigh, including a Springfield AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Barlow put in a transfer request to the North Carolina National Guard to be moved to a post that was closer to Caulder.

That same day, Barlow allegedly tried to hire someone to kill Caulder. However, the man he approached reported the plot to the police.

Barlow, a member of the 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade posted in Charlotte, was first taken into custody by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division before being handed over to the Wake Forest Police Department.

Prosecutors confirmed that the alleged hitman would not be facing charges since he was the one who notified the police.

During Monday’s court appearance, a judge ordered a mental health assessment for Barlow and remanded him to the Wake County Detention Center on a $1 million secured bond.

Barlow will be back in court on January 29 for a disposition hearing.

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