Salisbury teen charged in May murder of Michael Earley released on bond

Published 6:18 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

SALISBURY — A teenager who was charged with helping conceal the May murder of 19-year-old Michael Earley has been released on bond, according to Rowan County jail records.

Madison Drew Harrington, 19, of Fish Pond Road, had been held in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond. She was charged with felony accessory to murder after the fact.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office detectives said in May that Harrington is accused of assisting in the dismemberment of Earley’s body and concealing the crime.

Harrington was released late Tuesday evening.

Lauren Grimes, 19, remains in the Rowan County jail under a $300,000 secured bond. She also is charged with felony accessory to murder after the fact.

Earley was killed six months ago after he went to sell marijuana to Carlos Rosas Jr. in a prearranged transaction, according to Sheriff’s Office investigators. Earley was beaten and partially dismembered, and his remains were buried in a secluded area at Rosas’ Rockwell home.

Rosas, who is charged with murder and concealment of a death, remains in the county jail under no bond.

Earley’s father, Stephen, told the Post he has some concerns about Harrington’s release.

“She could be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family. My son’s not alive, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Stephen Earley said.

Earley said he’s concerned Harrington is a flight risk even if she’s wearing an ankle monitor. He said people remove those devices all the time.

“She doesn’t have any reason to stay around here,” he said.

He expressed concern about Harrington being issued bond and on Wednesday reiterated that concern to the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office, he said.

Rowan detectives said the two women were with Rosas during the drug transaction. Earley was selling marijuana to Rosas and a disagreement led to a struggle, Sheriff Kevin Auten said shortly after the May arrests. The investigation began after Earley’s girlfriend, Katelyn Smith, reported him missing.

Stephen Earley said what he wants people to know is his son was no drug dealer. “He was trying to make some extra money” and was met with “a situation that turned bad with the wrong people,” Earley said.

He said his son was an all-around good kid who wasn’t into “that stuff.”

Earley said he was told by investigators that Rosas was being sold less than 7 grams of marijuana.

The drug deal was supposed to have taken place at a location on Sides Road. Rosas and Michael Earley argued and Rosas allegedly beat Earley with a baseball bat, killing him at the Sides Road location, according to search warrants.

When detectives arrived May 8 at Rosas’ Percy Lane home in Rockwell, he was coming out of the woods behind his house. Rosas gave detectives consent to search the property.

Rosas told detectives that he severed parts of Earley’s body and burned them in a barrel. Investigators seized cleaning supplies, axes, knives and similar tools as well as a blanket and plastic bag that were in the grave where they found Earley’s remains.

No trial date has been set. Stephen Earley said he was told it could be 2021 when the case goes to trial.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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