Indian Land man charged with attempted murder

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Barber held without bond in Orangeburg County after alleged attack on wife en route to Bahamas cruise

By Reece Murphy

An Indian Land man remains behind bars in Orangeburg County after deputies say he tried to kill his wife during a vacation trip gone wrong late last month.

Michael Dwayne Barber, 48, of the 1500 block of Deer Forest Drive, is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Orangeburg County sheriff’s deputies say Barber cut his wife’s neck with a box cutter during an early-morning argument June 23 beside the road at Exit 145A on Interstate 26 and then struck her with their rental car as she tried to run away.

According to the incident report, the assault was the tragic end of a vacation that went awry when the couple weren’t allowed to board a cruise ship to the Bahamas in New York City because they’d left their passports at home.

The woman told deputies she and her husband rented a car after being turned away from the ship, drove home to Indian Land, where they retrieved their passports, rested up, and set out in the rental car to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to catch the ship there.

The woman said she told her husband about 1:45 a.m. that she had to use the restroom. She said he got off the interstate at the exit, but then pulled over and stopped the car beside the road before asking her who she was sleeping with.

“She said, ‘What are you talking about?’” the incident report said. “She advised that the suspect then pulled a box cutter and cut her throat.”

The woman told deputies she got out of the car and tried to get away, but her husband hit her with the Nissan Altima they’d rented.

The woman said she made it to a nearby Waffle House, where she called 911. 

A local resident drove the woman to Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, where she was treated for the severe cut to her throat and has since been released.

The report said deputies arrested Barber a short while later at a local restaurant. 

Barber was denied bond during his first appearance June 25 and remains behind bars at the Orangeburg County Jail.


Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151