CHARLOTTE — Investigators say the same suspect is accused of murder, a shootout at an apartment, and attacking a mother. They say he committed the last two crimes while out on bond for the murder charge.
Michael Withers was released from jail on Thursday night. He has a long record and is accused of several violent crimes, the latest of which landed him in court Thursday.
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Withers was -- yet again -- granted bond by a judge Thursday. This time, it was for $75,000.
This time, the convicted felon is charged with assault on a female and communicating threats after police say he showed up to his child’s mother’s house in Matthews and attacked her. That happened on Jan. 24.
Withers is also accused of shooting and killing Berkley Harmon III’s nephew, Haiishen McIntyre.
“Your community is in danger with this person being in it,” he told Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz.
Huntersville police believe Withers shot the former High Point University basketball player in 2021. Court records show Withers posted a bond of half a million dollars at the time and walked out of jail.
Then, last November, Withers was accused of shooting a man in Rowan County at an apartment complex. At the time, deputies said it was a gang shootout. Withers posted a $10,000 bond for that case initially. It was later increased to $300,000 but he posted that one, too.
Those bonds are at the of a Channel 9 investigation. Sáenz asked Harmon what he thought about it.
“Both of those charges, he’s released on bond. And then just yesterday, he’s arrested for threatening and assaulting his child’s mother, and this morning is given another bond. What do you make of this?” he asked.
“Here we are again,” Harmon said.
“You know, we all learn patterns in third grade,” he added. “This is three times. They all have violence to them. You should not need more.”
Harmon was worried Withers would get out again.
“The court system shares in the next crime,” he said.
“How are you really protecting your community if you’re doing this?” he asked.
Judge Cecilia Oseguera, who granted Withers bond on Thursday, declined to comment on the matter.
Back and forth
Some are pointing the finger at several judges, saying they are to blame for Withers getting out of jail.
After going through dozens of court documents, Sáenz learned how it got to this point with Withers. The documents show judges going back and forth, even on each other’s decisions regarding his bond.
It took Withers only 24 hours and two minutes to bond out of jail for the Jan. 24 incident.
“You just have to look at these judges and ask them what are you thinking?” said Cheryl Jones, an advocate who keeps a close eye on our local court system.
Jones wasn’t surprised when Sáenz showed her how it got to this point.
Withers, who was already a convicted felon when he was charged with the murder of Haiishen McIntyre, had a bond hearing for that case in February 2022. According to court documents, Superior Court Judge Carla Archie ordered Withers “to be held without bond,” saying, “no condition of [his] release would reasonably assure the safety of the community.”
But about two months later, in April, former Judge Kimberly Best gave him that $500,000 bond, saying he no longer posed a danger to the community since he’d previously “...been out of custody for approximately 12 weeks without being charged with new criminal offenses.” She also ordered Withers to “not be around weapons or anyone with weapons.”
But Withers was arrested for the Rowan County shootout in November of last year. He bonded out there.
Prosecutors in Mecklenburg County brought those details to Superior Court Judge David Strickland, arguing for his bonds to be revoked. He denied that request.
“They’ve given him every chance in the book,” Jones said.
She cannot fathom how Withers is back on the street again.
“Every one of those crimes reverts back to the judge before that let him go,” Jones said. “The next death is on them.”
It’s not clear if the District Attorney’s Office will bring details from Withers’ latest charge in front of another judge to take another look at his bond and potentially put him back behind bars.
Sáenz did reach out to the court asking for comment but did not hear back.
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