40 years for Pr. George's robber
A District man who targeted Latino workers in Prince George’s County for armed robberies was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison, State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said.
Circuit Court Judge Maureen Lamasney imposed the sentence on Eric M. Barnes, 27.
A Circuit Court jury deliberated for just two hours on Aug. 4 before convicting Barnes on 11 of the 13 charges he faced, including robbery with a deadly weapon, first-degree assault, and a handgun violation.
Some bandits target immigrants, some of whom are in the country without documentation, because they are known to carry cash and also may be reluctant to contact authorities if they are victimized. But Ivey said the immigration status of victims is immaterial.
“We cannot enable violent criminals in their pursuits by standing idly by while they prey on people unframiliar with our justice system,” Ivey said. "Victims -- regardless of their documentation or status -- and witnesses for that matter must come forward so we can fully prosecute violent criminals like Mr. Barnes.”
On Aug. 9, 2009, according to prosecutors, Barnes approached two Latino men in Hyattsville as they stood outside a home talking. Barnes demanded their money at gunpoint.
One said he had to go into the home to get money, and the other handed over $50. Barnes patted down both victims, got into a vehicle, and drove away.
Authorities audiotaped some of Barnes’s conversations in jail, and prosecutors played those tapes for Lamasney before she sentenced Barnes.
In one conversation, Barnes expressed frustration that he was facing a long prison sentence for a $50 robbery, and speculated the victims would not show up for court because they had to work.
-- Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Editors
August 10, 2010; 1:37 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Pr. George's , Ruben Castaneda
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