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Barr pleads guilty

August 01, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Steven Linn Barr pleaded guilty this morning in Washington County Circuit Court to first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and use of a handgun in a crime of violence in connection with the Nov. 15, 2004, shooting death of William K. Grant and the wounding of Cathy Myers.

Barr, 42, whose last known address before his arrest was 808 Hamilton Blvd. in Hagerstown, faces a possible sentence of life without parole.

He entered his guilty pleas in a separate courtroom from more than 70 prospective jurors who were waiting to undergo selection to hear his case, which was scheduled for a five-day jury trial beginning today.

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Circuit Judge Fred Wright ordered Barr be held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center. He delayed sentencing and ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

Barr, who was clean shaven and wearing a white dress shirt, responded to Wright's questions in a somber tone.

Myers, her family, and Grant's family declined to comment after the hearing.

Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said the events leading up to the Nov. 15 shooting actually began on Oct. 14, when Barr threatened to kill Myers, who was his ex-girlfriend, and her two daughters.

Michael said that Barr broke into Myers' 12057 Kemps Mill Road home on Nov. 14 and waited for the new couple to fall asleep. Grant, 46, spent the night at Myers' home, he said, and Myers locked her bedroom door, which she routinely did.

At about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 15, Myers "heard a crash and then (Barr) was there," Michael said.

Barr shot Grant eight times, four of which were to the head, he said. A bloody fingerprint on a wall indicated Barr was steadying himself above Grant to shoot him, Michael said.

Myers' young daughters had fled the house, he said. Myers, who was also shot, "recalls running down the hallway and going out the front door. She remembers making it out of her house and her leg giving way," he said.

Barr, who said he had planned to commit suicide, called his ex-wife, best friend and another friend after the shootings, he said.

In one phone call, his ex-wife, Penny Barr, told Barr that television news reported Myers was alive.

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