ROCKINGHAM — The body of a man found dead behind a home Monday has been identified and the man deputies say killed him has been charged.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has charged 42-year-old Tommie Barnes Jr., of Crestway Drive, Rockingham with an open count of murder in the death of 22-year-old Derrick Deandre Ratliff.
The victim’s name was released a little more than an hour following the announcement of Barnes’ arrest.
Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge told the Daily Journal on Monday that someone went to the sheriff’s office before noon and told deputies that something needed to be checked out at a home on Mary Wall Road, south of Rockingham.
Gulledge said deputies went to the home and discovered that some type of incident had taken place. During the investigation they found Ratliff’s body along the wood line of the property.
The victim’s body was sent to the Chief Medical Examiner’s office in Raleigh to determine an exact cause of death, which has not yet been released.
According to Gulledge, neither man lived at the home and there are no other suspects in the case.
Barnes is currently in the Richmond County Jail with no bond.
Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show Barnes was just released from parole on Aug. 17 after serving time for felony breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering convictions in Mecklenburg County.
Barnes previously served five years behind bars after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in 2002. Two years prior he was given probation for a misdemeanor conviction of assault on a female. Both of those convictions were also in Mecklenburg County.
Records show Barnes’ first adult convictions in North Carolina were in 1992 — a felony count of selling a Schedule II controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of assault inflicting serious injury — in Richmond County.
Online court records show he has not other scheduled court appearances.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.