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Jury to begin deliberations in trial of man accused in shooting death

Juan Sylvester Barnes is charged with first- and second-degree murder, assault and firearms offenses in the Jan. 24 death

November 29, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Juan Sylvester Barnes
Submitted by Hagerstown Police Department

A Washington County Circuit Court jury is set to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations today in the case of a man charged with the shooting death of a New York City man in January.

Juan Sylvester Barnes, 29, no fixed address, is charged with first- and second-degree murder, assault and firearms offenses in the Jan. 24 death of 29-year-old Christopher Lee Follett, who was found shot on a sidewalk in the 300 block of Jonathan Street.

During the first two days of the trial, the jury heard testimony from a dozen prosecution witnesses and two for the defense. Barnes did not take the witness stand and the defense rested its case Thursday afternoon.

Due to the late hour when testimony concluded, Judge John H. McDowell told the jury to return this morning for his instructions and the closing arguments.

Barnes was taken into custody in an apartment in Greenbelt, Md., in Prince George’s County, a few days after the shooting.

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At the time of Barnes’ bond review in Washington County District Court in January, the state indicated a weapon of the same caliber used in Follett’s killing was found when Barnes was arrested.

Follett was shot in the head with a bullet from a .45-caliber handgun, Hagerstown police said in the application for statement of charges.

A witness told police after the shooting that she walking with Barnes on North Jonathan Street when they encountered a group of people that included Follett, the charging document said.

During the encounter, there was an exchange of words between Barnes and someone in the group, which resulted in Follett being shot, the charging document said.

The witness identified Barnes from a photo array on Jan. 25, the charging document said.

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