By Linda Cicoira
There were enough eye-witnesses and forensic reports to convict Fredrick (Ricky) Marvin Barnes Jr., of Exmore, of the murder of his mother and a family friend at a birthday party last July. He admitted to the crimes Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court and to turning to the gun on his sister who was forced to run for her life.
The 35-year-old defendant reloaded his semi-automatic handgun during the shootings and told his mother, 75-year-old Brenda Barnes, he was tired of taking care of her. Seconds later he put a bullet in her head and shoulder, according to a summary of the charges. Just before that he shot 53-year-old Dean Herbert Reid, of Parksley, who was dating the hostess of the party, Barnes’ sister, Christina Green. Reid had attempted to break up a fist fight between the defendant and Barnes’ nephew. Reid was shot seven times, first in the chest and then in the torso. The shooting occurred outside Green’s home in Deep Creek. Green was not hit as she fled to a neighbor’s house.
Blood tests showed the defendant had consumed so much alcohol and opioids, that Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said Barnes may have been able to convince a jury he was not capable of premeditated murder. So, Morgan dropped the first-degree murder charges in exchange for Barnes’ guilty pleas to two counts of second-degree murder and a count of attempted second-degree murder. Barnes also pleaded guilty to three counts of use of a firearm in a felony and could be sentenced to up to a total of 135 years in prison for the six crimes.
Morgan said Barnes drove away from the scene, but was apprehended a few miles away. He was taken to the hospital because he had also shot himself in the leg, according to a report. Results of a blood test showed Barnes had consumed five times the amount of alcohol and drugs needed for intoxication and was about halfway to a lethal amount.
Barnes, who is about 6′ 2″ tall and weighs more than 300 pounds, was brought into the courtroom wearing an off-white jail-issued jumpsuit and ankle chains. He clasped his hands behind his back while standing and answering Judge W. Revell Lewis III’s questions. He wore a surgical mask during the proceeding.
In a previous interview, Green told a ShoreDailyNews.com reporter, that the violence began with the fist fight. When she, her sister, and her daughter tried to break it up, Barnes began to swing at them. Brenda Barnes told Green to call 9-1-1 and Green was on the phone with a dispatcher when Reid tried to break up the fight and the shootings occurred.
“I was still on the phone with 9-1-1 and he turned the gun on me,” Green continued. “He shot at me while I was running down the driveway and missed. He ran out of ammo as I was running into my neighbor’s yard. I looked back. He was standing between his car and Dean’s car and reloaded the gun.”
Sentencing was set for November.