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'Tell My Kids I Love Them': Man Leaves Message After Allegedly Being Stabbed By Girlfriend

Witnesses say Jessie Owenby — who has been charged with murdering boyfriend Charles Barber — followed him into a nearby apartment after the stabbing as he tried to get help and professed her love for him as he lay dying on the ground.

By Jill Sederstrom
Jessie Owenby

A North Carolina man left a haunting final message to his children after allegedly being stabbed in the chest by his girlfriend.

“Tell my kids I love them,” Charles Barber told stunned witnesses after collapsing onto the ground in a nearby apartment, according to WSOC-TV.

Jessie Owenby, 47, is now facing charges of first-degree murder in Barber’s death after police say she attacked Barber at the Forest Park Garden apartments where the couple had lived on Monday.

Police responded to a report of a stabbing at 503 Valley Street in Apartment H on Monday but, when they arrived, discovered the victim had run to a neighboring apartment at 507 Valley Street to seek assistance, they said in a press release. It's unclear who called the police from the first apartment.

There, he collapsed in the doorway, asked the residents to call the police and told them what to tell his children.

He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Witnesses told WSOC-TV that they had tried to help Barber, who had been stabbed in the chest, as they waited for paramedics to arrive. As he lay dying on the ground, one witness said Owenby came into the apartment where he lay.

She initially denied stabbing him and professed her love for him, the witness said.

The couple had been seen together, hanging out with other neighbors, in the apartment complex, shortly before the fatal stabbing.

“I couldn’t believe it because they were so friendly out here,” neighbor James Moore told WSOC-TV. “She just went off the deep end.”

Owenby, one couple said, had given them a plant as a gift the day before the stabbing.

Neighbor Vickie Moten said she was “just sad” to learn about the killing.

“I hate that it happened because that’s my friend. She’s a good girl,” Moten said.

Police took Owenby into custody after gathering witness statements and evidence at the scene.

She’s currently being held without bond at the Iredell County Jail. During her first court appearance on Tuesday, she asked for a court appointed attorney.

According to Law&Crime, Owenby's prior rap sheet includes one felony drug arrest and several small misdemeanor arrests, but no violent crimes.

Oxygen.com reached out to Statesville Police but did not receive an immediate response.