Rowan man charged with running over mother-in-law, assaulting estranged wife

Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

RICHFIELD — A 29-year-old Rowan man was charged after authorities said he ran over his mother-in-law and assaulted his estranged wife. The man was at the mother-in-law’s home on Wyatt Grove Church Road to pick up his children to take them fishing.

Christopher James Earnhardt of Wilcoy Road in Rockwell, is charged with assault on a female, assault with a deadly weapon, larceny and common law robbery.

The incident occurred Sunday morning after someone at the Richfield home called 911 to report the disturbance. Earnhardt’s estranged wife, Sherri, 31, went to the car to speak with the children as Christopher Earnhardt began gathering fishing equipment.

Christopher Earnhardt instructed Sherri to get inside to go fishing with them, but she refused. Sherri’s mother, Carolyn Sue Goodman, placed her arm on the side mirror to lean in to ask the children if they wanted to stay or go with their dad.

Authorities said Christopher Earnhardt put the car in reverse and at the same time Goodman’s arm brace became tangled in the mirror. She was dragged about 90 feet and then run over, said Capt. John Sifford.

The Honda Earnhardt was driving rolled over her leg and hip. Sifford said Earnhardt drove to the top of the road and got out. When he got out of the car he ran after his wife, pushed her down and hit her several times. He took her phone.

Christopher Earnhardt told deputies his mother-in-law assaulted him and he noticed she was still hanging on the car and stopped after a few feet, which contradicts what Goodman and Sherri Earnhardt said, as well as Stacy Goodman, Sherri’s sister.

Sifford said there were others at the house who witnessed the incident. Authorities contacted the Rowan County Department of Social Services.

Officials said Carolyn Goodman had road rash all over her arm, knee and back. She also had possible tendons pulled in her thumb and wrist. The hamstring in her right hip was completely ripped from the bone. She will be wheelchair bound for at least two months, her daughter told officials.

Christopher Earnhardt remained in the Rowan County Detention Center on Tuesday under a $3,000 bond for the assault on a female and without bond for the other charges.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.