Raleigh Man Arrested for Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot Stemming from Fatal 2016 Crash

RALEIGH, N.C. – A man from Raleigh was taken into custody by Wake Forest Police on Saturday morning for allegedly attempting to arrange the murder of a man involved in a fatal accident that resulted in the death of the suspect’s mother in 2016.

Rhett Michael Barlow was arrested for allegedly soliciting someone to kill Donald Caulder, Jr., the man who was driving a dump truck that collided with Barlow’s mother, a high school teacher named Michelle Barlow, nearly eight years ago along Capital Blvd.

During a court hearing on Monday, prosecutors revealed that Barlow had purchased firearms and attempted to position himself closer to Caulder. They also mentioned that Barlow had taken steps to request a transfer of his National Guard duty in order to be near Caulder.

Following the accident, Caulder was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed. Investigators from the State Highway Patrol concluded that driver fatigue or distraction may have contributed to the crash, but found no evidence at the scene to suggest that Caulder had made an effort to avoid the collision.

At the memorial service for Michelle Barlow, her family could be seen grieving her loss, with her husband expressing forgiveness towards Caulder. After his arrest, Rhett Barlow was taken to the Wake County Detention Center and is currently being held under a $1 million secured bond.

The North Carolina National Guard confirmed that Barlow is a member of the 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based out of Charlotte, and has been a traditional guardsman with the NCNG since 2019.

Prosecutors stated that the individual Barlow allegedly sought help from in his plan will not face charges, as he voluntarily came forward to report the plot to the authorities. Barlow’s father and sister were present in court but left before making any statements to the media. The investigation into the incident remains ongoing.