November 11, 2022
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Barnes walks back to jail with Deputy Gary Calloway

Pictured: Fredrick (Ricky) Marvin Barnes Jr. escorted across the street by Deputy Gary Calloway with the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office.

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By Linda Cicoira

     An Exmore man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his mother and a family friend at a party in Deep Creek last year and shooting at his sister, who managed to get away.

     Thirty-four-year-old Fredrick (Ricky) Marvin Barnes Jr. will serve 69 years in prison, making him more than 100 when he is released, if he lives that long.

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     Judge W. Revell Lewis III, of Accomack Circuit Court, sentenced Barnes to a total of 94 years. The lower figure includes suspended time.

     Lewis gave Barnes 40 years in prison with 10 years suspended for the second-degree murder of his mother, 75-year-old Brenda Barnes; 35 years for the second-degree murder of 53-year-old Dean Herbert Reid of Parksley, a fire/rescue worker, who was dating the defendant’s sister; 10 years with five suspended for the attempted murder of the sister, Christina Green, who was forced to run for her life as bullets flew in her direction; and the mandatory three years each for the three firearms convictions.

     According to blood tests and accounts the defendant gave to authorities, he was sneaking off to the bathroom during the party to snort cocaine. He also took oxycodone, drank a fifth of liquor, and had taken numerous drinks of other alcohol before the shooting began. The family had gathered at Green’s home to celebrate her nephew’s birthday.

    The judge wondered how the defendant was “even standing up.” Lewis said shooting his mother in the head was “unimaginable. This is about as bad as it gets … it was senseless to do what you did.”

Barnes after sentencing

     Barnes reloaded his semi-automatic weapon during the shootings and told his mother he was tired of taking care of her. Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said the truth really was that she had been caring for her son despite that he was a grown man.

     The incidents started with a fist fight between the defendant and birthday celebrant. Reid attempted to break up the scuffle and was shot numerous times by Barnes – first in the chest and then in the torso. The shooting occurred outside. Then Barnes’ mother was killed. Green was not injured as she dodged bullets while she fled to a neighbor’s house.

    Fourteen members of the families sent impact statements to the court. Nineteen showed up for the sentencing. Green and Reid’s daughter, Shellsey, testified to the long-term fallout.

     “I have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder),” said Green. “I don’t sleep. Loud noises they affect me so bad I start shaking … I’m terrified that he is going to come back and kill my family … Keep him in jail,” she added.

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      Shellsey Reid wore a T-shirt that asked for justice for her father. She said she was testifying so he would have a voice. She complained of having never-ending nightmares and of being afraid for herself and her young daughter. And of course, she misses her dad.

     “I still live in his house. I can’t go back to his room … He did everything he could to take care of us. He was the laughter in the hard times, he paid the bills … I hope the man who did this will never have his freedom again.”

     Barnes also took the witness stand. He said he pleaded guilty so his family would not have to go through a trial and “to accept responsibility for the damage I caused. “I know ‘sorry’ is an empty word. I know what terrible things I’ve done.” Barnes asked the court for a second chance so he could take up a skill in prison “and try to pick up the pieces when I get out.”

    Prosecutor Morgan asked the court to consider public safety. “This was not a random act of violence.” He wanted the victims to have peace.

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    “This is eating him up inside,” said Defense lawyer Brandon Wilder. “Give him a sentence that will allow him to get out.”

     Judge Lewis put the presentence report recommendations that called for Barnes to get between six and 25 years aside. “The guidelines are insufficient,” he said.

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