Teen, accused of murder, out of jail; family outraged

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte family is outraged after a teen, accused of killing a young father, was let out of jail without bond.

Abijah Barkley, 21, was found shot to death on March 9 at Southside Homes on Griffith Street.

Police arrested and charged a 17-year-old and charged him with murder.

“That call that night shattered everything,” said Malaysia Barkley, Abijah Barkley’s sister. “You go to the hospital thinking he’s going to be alright.”

Judges kept the accused murderer in jail until Thursday.

“He took my son, took a father, brother, a grandson,” said the victim’s mother, who didn’t want to be identified.

The accused killer went before Judge Aretha Blake and the family said she released the teen on a $300,000 unsecured bond.

A person in jail does not have to come up with money to get out of jail when issued an unsecured bond.

The suspect’s release was a punch in the gut for family members.

“I feel it’s very unfair because my brother will not be able to come home,” Malaysia Barkley told Channel 9 on Friday.

Abijah Barkley was the father of a 4-month-old daughter. He worked overnights at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

During the day, he worked for a food delivery service to support his young family.

“It really was very unfair, and the judge didn’t seem to care about any of that,” Malaysia Barkley said.

Police have been sounding the alarm about juveniles being involved in serious crimes.

“We are disappointed in that bond amount,” said the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in a statement.


Clydia Davis is with Mom’s Ain’t Playing, which is a group that has been fighting to change the law so that accused murderers will be denied bond.

“It’s stomach-turning,” Davis told Channel 9.

Davis said the judge’s decision sends the wrong message to juveniles.

“It’s a revolving door,” Davis said. “They are giving him the excuse of, ‘They can go kill somebody and get away with it.’”

Channel 9 attempted to contact Judge Blake, who confirmed that our message was received and forwarded to the public information office as per protocol.

The family said prosecutors told them they plan to appeal the decision that let the suspect out on unsecured bond.