• The man begged a neighbor for help and gave one last message to his kids
  • Cops arrested the woman and charged her with first-degree murder
  • Couple had hung out with neighbors on the day of the incident

A North Carolina father was fatally stabbed in an apartment complex by a woman believed to have been romantically involved with him. The man lay dying on the floor of a neighbor’s apartment as he said his final words, which included a short message for his kids.

The accused, Jessie Renae Owenby, 47, allegedly stabbed Charles Barber in a Statesville apartment Monday. Barber managed to make it to another apartment unit in the complex before collapsing on the ground. He asked his neighbors to call the police as he laid on the floor bleeding from his chest, according to Law&Crime.

Barber reportedly gave his neighbor a final message for his children: “Tell my kids that I love them.” It is unclear how many children the victim had.

Barber was living with Owenby in the Forest Park Gardens apartment. Neighbors in the building said the two were dating each other.

Following the fatal stabbing, one of the neighbors said Owenby had followed Barber into the neighbor’s apartment as he pleaded for help. They said Owenby claimed she loved Barber and denied having any hand in the fatal stab wounds that Barber sustained.

Neighbors told WSOC-TV that they tried to help Barber before first responders arrived. Barber reportedly died in the apartment complex.

“I’m just sad about it,” neighbor Vickie Moten told the outlet. “I hate that it happened because that’s my friend. She’s a good girl.”

Another neighbor, James Moore, said: “I couldn’t believe it because they were so friendly out here. She just went off the deep end.”

Barber and Owenby reportedly hung out with their neighbors on the day of his murder. One neighbor also said that Owenby had given them a house plant the day before.

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office arrested Owenby and charged her with first-degree murder. She appeared before a judge Tuesday and was put behind bars without bond.

Owenby does not have any violent prior convictions but has had other run-ins with the law. She reportedly has a long record that mostly includes small-bore misdemeanor offenses and minor felony convictions related to drugs.

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