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Alabama Man Charged With Murder After Hitting Friend With Shovel and Waiting Hours to Call Police

MOBILE, Ala. – An Alabama man has been with murder after allegedly beating his friend with a shovel and waiting hours before calling 911 for help.

According to the Mobile Police Department, Morgan Daniel Barnhill, 27, told them he attacked Etienne Murry, 25, because he thought he was a burglar. Barnhill told police he saw an unknown man breaking into his shed. He said he confronted the man and hit him over the head with a shovel. Police would later discover that Barnhill lied about the suspected burglary and he actually knew Murray.

“Through the investigation, it was determined that the alleged victim [of the burglary] (Barnhill) intentionally misled officers about an attempted burglary on the 4300 block of Windy Hill Circle East,” officers told Law&Crime in a statement. “Detectives discovered several inconsistencies in Barnhill’s statement and determined he filed a false report claiming an unknown male was attempting to break into a shed on his property.”

Murray died from injuries on Friday.

According to Murray’s mother, Linda Gayle, Barnhill was friends with her son, and Etienne was invited over for a barbecue. That’s when Barnhill accused him of stealing a purse, then proceeded to strike him.

Barnhill was arrested and charged with murder. His bond was set at $500,000 during a hearing on Monday. If released, he will have to serve house arrest and wear an ankle monitor. 

Authorities suggested in court that race may have played a role in the attack, but did not elaborate. Barnhill is white. Murray was Black.

“After he beat my baby, he left him there, didn’t call for help, didn’t try for help,” Murray’s mother told WTVY in a Monday report. “If he would’ve called for help, maybe my baby would still be here.”

Barnhill remains incarcerated at the Mobile County Jail as of Tuesday, according to Law&Crime.

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