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40 years for Pr. George's robber

Washington Post Editors

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

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 10, 2010; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Pr. George's , Ruben Castaneda  
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$50= 40 YEARS BEHING BARS, WOW! I wonder what $50 would have got him in the slammers? He'll have plenty of MS-13 to rob in Jessup, Hagerstown and Cumberland now.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 10, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Robbing illegals? He should have received an award.

Posted by: StLou | August 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

For once, Ruben actually sounds like he cares that the bag guy got convicted.

A little bit of history right here in the pages of the Washington Post....

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | August 10, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

...bad guy...

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | August 10, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but it's stupid to incarcerate a man for his entire productive lifespan, for robbery. How much violence was involved? Was the perp a career offender? I must be missing something, because I think this guy should serve 5 years, then get to work and pay taxes, instead of being a ward of the state with no hope of a productive life.

Posted by: pundito | August 10, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Had he wanted a light sentence he should have stuck to the District. Thank you PG for having tough laws and enforcing them! Please arrest more of our DC criminals and keep them behind bars!

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | August 10, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

At first I thought 40 years sounded like an extreme sentence, but the conviction was for ARMED robbery, and that makes a legal difference. Armed robbers should be aware of that. (Of course, murderers often get much less time...not really sure why this discrepancy exists.)

Posted by: DecafDrinker | August 10, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

how does robbing two people in the same place at the same time constitute targeting latino workers? were there other robberies with other latino victims? obviously, i'm missing something here. anything for sympathy against the immigration backlash.

Posted by: icebluekoolaid1 | August 10, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

No matter if the dude robbed illegal immigrants or legal immigrants, he was a criminal and he got what he deserved. If he was a raper and he raped illegal immigrants would he be "up for an award" then? Jesus Christ! What the hell is wrong with people?

Posted by: UnknownHenson | August 11, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

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