A $500,000 bond has been issued for a man from Mobile, Alabama, who police say killed another man with a shovel and pipe. At a bond hearing, prosecutors in the case informed the judge that they suspect the assault was racially motivated.
The attacker was white, whereas the victim was African-American.
On March 29, Morgan Daniel Barnhill, 27, initially told Mobile Police Department officers that he punched a man because he feared an unknown burglar was entering his shed.
Authorities maintain, however, that a quick inquiry found that the man knew the victim he bashed in the head with two sharp and heavy weapons. Etienne Murray, a 25-year-old Black man, was his next-door neighbor.
“Through the investigation, it was found that the suspect (Barnhill) purposefully mislead officers about an attempted burglary on the 4300 block of Windy Hill Circle East,” a source close to the case stated.
The source stated, “Detectives identified significant contradictions in Barnhill’s statement.” “And it was discovered that he falsely reported an unknown guy attempting to break into a shed on his property.”
Barnhill allegedly struck Murray with a garden shovel and a pipe and then waited hours before reporting his injuries or the purported crime he claimed he was stopping to authorities. Murray died on April 1st, three days later.
The event was described by police as “an active homicide investigation,” with no other details available.
On April 4, Barnhill’s bail was set at $500,000. If the bond is paid, he will be have to wear an ankle bracelet and remain under house arrest, according to WKRG.
According to the deceased’s mother, the two men were friends, and her son was even invited to a BBQ at Barnhill’s house. Barnhill, she claimed, suspected Murray of stealing a purse from his property.
According to WTVY, “After he beat my baby, he left him there, didn’t call for help, didn’t try for help,” Murray’s mother, Linday Gayle, said. Maybe my baby would still be here if he had called for help.”
The devastated mother continued, “I want him to know he has ruined my world.” “He took my child when he didn’t have to.” Why not call the cops if he believes my child has taken anything from him? Why not deal with it properly? Why take the cowardly route of beating my child’s skull and then abandoning him?”
The mother stated that she did not want “anything horrible to happen” to the man who killed her son.
“I don’t want him to die because I don’t want any other mother to go through what I’m going through right now,” Gayle explained. “No mother should have to bury her child, especially in the face of such heinous violence.”
Barnhill remains detained in the Mobile County Jail in Alabama after his bail bond was not met.