Parents of murdered Rowan teen upset with release of suspect

Family of murdered teen plans protest at Rowan Co. courthouse

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The family of a brutally murdered Rowan County teen is upset after one of the three people charged in connection with the death, dismemberment, and burning of the body is out of jail on bond.

19-year-old Michael Earley was beaten to death in May, according to the sheriff. Three people were charged.

“It’s been so hard to get through the days sometimes," said Steve Earley. Earley talks about his brutally murdered son Michael with both pain and pride.

“He was excited about his credit score," Earley added. "To be 19 years old and excited about a credit score, I thought that was pretty impressive. He wanted to have something and be somebody and work hard for it.”

But Michael Earley would never reach his 20th birthday. He was murdered, his body dismembered, parts of it buried in eastern Rowan County in May.

“Nobody wants to bury their child, much less a 19-year-old young man who still had a lot of life," Rowan Sheriff Kevin Auten said at the time of the arrest.

Carlos Rosas was charged with murder, Lauren Grimes and Madison Harrington were charged as accessories after the fact for helping to hide the body. On Tuesday Harrington made a half million dollar bond and was released.

“What kind of price tag do you put on a person’s life?" asked Steve Earley.

“I think it’s dirty as hell that she paid $500,000 and it don’t ‚matter that she murdered my son, she got to go home," said Jessica Earley in a Facebook Live video that has been seen and shared 1000’s of times.

Michael’s dad Steve says Harrington is a threat to the community, or a threat to leave and never stand trial.

Earley says his days are now filled with mourning the loss Michael and wondering what will happen with one of the three people he says was responsible the gruesome death of his son.

“My son Michael, he’s not going to be here for Thanksgiving," Earley added. "He’s not going to be here for Christmas, but you’re going to let his murderer stay home and enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. How fair is that? Where is the justice in that?”

Carlos Rosas, charged with murder is being held without bond. Lauren Grimes, charged as an accessory, is still in the Rowan Detention Center with a bond of $300,000.

Harrington does have to wear an ankle monitor as a condition of her release on bond.

In a note to WBTV, Katelyn Smith, who at the time was the girlfiend of Michael Earley, said “If anyone knew Michael, you would know that he was the most kind-hearted person. he didn’t deserve what happen to him! He needs justice, and us as a family and a community will fight for him! heaven sure did gain a beautiful angel, I love you baby.”

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.