Report: Suspect stabs father-in-law

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2011

ROCKWELL — A Rockwell man is behind bars after deputies say he cut his father-in-law with a knife Tuesday night, sending him to the hospital.
According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Donald Gene Barnette, 25, of 140 Austin St., Rockwell, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and intimidating a state’s witness. He is in the Rowan County jail under a $25,000 secured bond.
According to the report, Barnette went to his father-in-law, Bobby Gene Austin’s house at 135 Cedar Ridge Lane in China Grove. Deputies say Barnette knocked on the door and told Austin, “I’m gonna get you before court,” the report said.
An altercation ensued, and the report said Barnette cut Austin on his right arm several times. Austin had to be taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center for treatment of what were described as “severe lacerations.”
Austin and his wife are scheduled to testify against Barnette in an incident that happened in December. Austin was taking Barnette’s 1-year-old daughter from Barnette’s home at his daughter’s request, and Barnette came home from jail unexpectedly.
Barnette jumped onto Auston’s moving vehicle and hung onto the side of the car while Austin drove off. Austin used a baseball bat to try to beat Barnette off his car. He eventually stopped after hitting several mailboxes and street signs, and Barnette grabbed his child and took off back toward his home.
Austin was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor child abuse, but is now a state’s witness in the case, the report said.