Local News

Friends question death of man known for second chances

Posted September 5, 2016 6:12 p.m. EDT
Updated September 6, 2016 12:49 p.m. EDT

Michael Mansfield, 52, was remembered in two prayer services in Fayetteville Monday as one who ministered to others. His business, First Place Auto Wash, put service to others first. His mission, on the car wash web site, was "to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in a practical way."

Police are searching for the reason this servant was beaten to death early Sunday in the parking lot of a sports bar.

"He served many people out here," said Robert Wilson, a friend.

Nelson Mountjoy, who worked at the car wash with Mansfield, said, "As long as his God told him to do something, he would do it in a second."

"Mike would pretty much give you the shirt off his back," another co-worker said.

Others cited Mansfield's history. He was a recovering drug addict, a born-again Christian who tried to offer others a second chance, many said.

"He tried to guide people in the right direction," Wilson said.

Wilson, Mountjoy and other friends and colleagues gathered at First Place Sunday to pray for peace, for strength and for Mike.

Mansfield was attacked, police say, in the parking lot of 301 Wingz, just two doors down from where he did so much good. Witnesses told police that two men repeatedly punched Mansfield, even after he lay on the ground unconscious. He died early Sunday at Cape Fear Medical Center.

"For what reason? I mean, you tell me. What reason?" Daphne Stout wondered on Monday.

The two men charged with his murder, Hubert Underwood II, 37, of the 2900 block of Custer Avenue, and Steven Rosser, 26, of the 4100 block of Cedar Creek Road, were held without bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-818-3468 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.