Disabled man accused of murder calls it 'self-defense'

by: Dave Faherty Updated:

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GRANITE FALLS, N.C. —

For the first time Friday, Channel 9 is hearing from a disabled man in Caldwell County accused of murder.  
 
"I couldn't let him kill me.   I've got my wife and wife's sister there,” said Ralph Barker.
            
Barker is under house arrest and is scheduled to go to court this spring after deputies said he shot and killed his neighbor.  
 
The 72-year-old is calling it a case of self-defense even though that neighbor wasn't armed.  
 
It is difficult for Barker, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a heart condition, to even get around.
 
Last February, he said he ventured to the edge of his property when he got into a dispute with his neighbor that ended with Danny Bowman dead and Barker charged with murder. 
 
"I live with that every day.   You just don't know.  Hopefully the people will see it if it does go to court for what it is.  I have no record,” Barker said.
        
Barker said the dispute was over cinderblocks Bowman had placed near his property line preventing people from turning around.  Barker said after moving the blocks, he feared for his life that night because Bowman became irate and had a history of assaulting and threatening other neighbors   
 
"I'm not a murderer.    I don't go around killing people.   I don't beat people up.    I just want to live out what time I got left in peace,” Barker said.
          
Deputies said Barker shot and killed Bowman inside his own truck with a shotgun he fired through an open window.  He is scheduled to go to court soon to face a judge on the murder charge. He said he has relied on his faith, family, and friends since his arrest. 
 
"With faith, you can get through it. That is what has sustained me and my friends,” Barker said.

Read past coverage: 71-year-old man charged in Caldwell Co. shooting