In a heart-wrenching tale of loss and vengeance, Rhett Michael Barlow found himself caught in a web of grief and anger after his mother, Michelle Barlow, tragically lost her life in a devastating car crash.

As the years passed, the pain of her absence remained, driving Rhett to seek justice for his mother’s untimely d*eath.

However, his pursuit took a dark turn when he allegedly attempted to hire a h*itman to end the life of Donald Caulder Jr., the man responsible for the fatal accident. This article delves into the events surrounding this harrowing story, exploring the aftermath of the crash, the legal proceedings, and the implications of Rhett’s alleged actions.

The Tragic Accident

On that fateful day in March 2016, Michelle Barlow, a beloved English teacher at Wake Forest High School, was driving her Toyota Sienna minivan on Capital Boulevard.

Unbeknownst to her, her life would be forever altered when Donald Caulder Jr., driving a work dump truck, failed to slow down and crashed into the back of her vehicle.

The impact of the collision crushed Michelle’s minivan between the dump truck and another vehicle, resulting in her tragic de*ath.

Michelle Barlow and Donald Caulder Jr vehicle rack

The Legal Proceedings

Following the accident, Donald Caulder Jr. was charged with misdemeanor de*ath by vehicle and failure to reduce speed.

In January 2017, he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and received a sentence of 75 days in jail, along with a suspended license.

The court records indicate that the State Highway Patrol’s investigation revealed multiple violations, including brake failure and unsecured logs on Caulder’s truck.

Donald Caulder Jr.

Rhett Barlow’s Descent into Darkness

As the years passed, Rhett Barlow grappled with the grief and anger stemming from his mother’s de*ath. The loss weighed heavily on his heart, leading him down a dangerous path of seeking retribution.

In November 2023, Rhett allegedly made a fateful decision — he attempted to hire a h*itman to ki*ll Donald Caulder Jr. Prosecutors unveiled shocking details during court proceedings, revealing that Rhett purchased an AR-15 Springfield Rifle and another gun on the same day he sought to enlist the hitman’s services.

Additionally, Rhett reportedly requested a transfer within the North Carolina National Guard to be closer to Caulder, further underscoring the seriousness of his alleged plot.

The Arrest and Legal Consequences

Rhett’s alleged plot took a dramatic turn when the person he approached to carry out the crime, Benjamin Miceli, instead reported the plan to the authorities.

Wake Forest Police Department, in conjunction with the US Army Criminal Investigation Division, swiftly apprehended Rhett Barlow at Fort Liberty, where he was training as a member of the North Carolina National Guard. He was subsequently transferred into the custody of the Wake Forest police.

In his initial court appearance, a judge ordered Rhett Barlow to remain in jail on a $1 million bond and undergo a mental health evaluation. He now faces a single count of solicitation to commit first-degree mur*der, a felony that carries the potential for a life prison sentence if convicted. The legal proceedings are ongoing, and a disposition hearing is scheduled for January 29.

The Impact on the Community

The tragic events surrounding Michelle Barlow’s de*ath and Rhett’s subsequent arrest have left the Wake Forest community in shock and disbelief.

Michelle was known as a dedicated and beloved teacher, deeply committed to her students’ growth and well-being. The Wake County Public School System and the state Department of Public Instruction recognized the impact of her loss, awarding her family approximately $355,325 in lost future wages.

Michelle Barlow

The Road to Healing and Reflection

In the wake of this devastating series of events, the Barlow family and the community at large must grapple with the aftermath. The loss of a loved one is an indescribable pain, and Rhett’s alleged actions have only added to the tragedy.

As the legal process unfolds, it is crucial for the community to reflect on the importance of seeking healthier ways to cope with grief and loss, emphasizing the need for support systems and mental health resources.


The story of Rhett Michael Barlow’s quest for retribution is a somber reminder of the profound impact of loss and the lengths to which one can be driven by grief and anger.

The tragic accident that claimed Michelle Barlow’s life sent shockwaves through the community, leading to a series of events that culminated in Rhett’s alleged attempt to hire a hitman. As the legal proceedings unfold, it is essential to remember the importance of seeking healing and support in times of immense pain.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *