Eric Barnes | Homicide Watch Boston news about Eric Barnesen-usSun, 07 Sep 2014 22:55:10 -0400Murder Case Collapses After Key Witness Dies in Jail<p>Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree murder charge against <a href="" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article-', '', 'Eric Barnes']);" >Eric Barnes</a>, 29, of Dorchester after a young woman named Brianna L. Erickson, a central witness in the case, died in jail. Authorities say the death was a suicide, but a close family friend says Erickson was distressed and feared for her safety.</p> <p>"The evidence developed thus far by Boston Police homicide detectives and the district attorney's office is that [Erickson's death] was a non-homicide," said Jake M. Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, adding that his department pays special attention to deaths in custody.</p> <p>Wark also said he has not obtained any information that Erickson was intimidated in jail.</p> <p>"Obviously, if there was an allegation for that, we would look into it," he said.</p> <p>The testimony of Erickson, 22, who died while in South Bay House of Correction on May 8, 2014, was considered critical for Barnes' trial to proceed. While the official investigation into her death is ongoing, the district attorney's office said all evidence points to her taking her own life.<br /> <span id="more-1836"></span></p> <p>"As a result of this witness's death, the Commonwealth does not have a good faith basis that it can prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Assistant District Attorney Mark T. Lee wrote in a document filed by the prosecution on Aug. 21, 2014.</p> <p>Barnes, along with two other men, had been implicated in the fatal shooting of <a href="" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article-', '', 'Brousseau Normil']);" title="Brousseau Normil">Brousseau Normil</a>, 20, from Cambridge, during an armed robbery in March 2013. Barnes was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court in April.</p> <p>Erickson, the chief witness, was charged with armed robbery in connection with Normil's death. According to her lawyer, she had met with the prosecutor’s office and testified in front of a grand jury as part of a deal to have her sentence reduced.</p> <p>"She seemed hopeful and her concerns were for her future," said John C. Hayes, Erickson's attorney, who last saw his client at her arraignment. "Her suicide was a complete shock and I saw no sign of it."</p> <p>Hayes said there was concern Erickson might be contacted or threatened by people close to her co-defendants.</p> <p>"My understanding is that people saw that she had been arraigned and only charged with robbery," the attorney said. "Some of the inmates had seen this and said things to her, like, 'What’s going on here?'"</p> <p>Hayes said that at this time there is no direct evidence to suggest that Erickson had been intimidated. But a family friend, who asked not to be named out of fear for her own safety, was under the impression that Erickson was afraid for her life.</p> <p>“I know that a couple [of] times when Brianna had called me, she was saying that she was being threatened and that she asked for a transfer,” the friend said.</p> <p>During a phone call the day of her death, the friend said that Erickson told her she was scheduled to be transferred to another facility.</p> <p>"When I asked her questions about what had happened [to cause the transfer], she said, 'I'll write it to you in a letter. I'll write it tonight,'" the friend said. "And I never received anything."</p> <p>Hayes confirmed there had been talk of movement to another facility, though he said he had no concrete reason to suspect her death involved foul play.</p> <p>"It is my belief that the district attorney's office and police carefully investigated her death," he said, "and all indications are that it was a suicide."</p> <p>Erickson's death was not the first recorded in South Bay House of Correction this year. Two weeks before she died, The Boston Globe <a href="" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', '', 'reported']);" >reported</a> that Rohan Blackwood, 28, of Boston was found unresponsive by a corrections officer conducting rounds.</p> <p>Blackwood, who was being held on a conviction of assault with a deadly weapon, was pronounced dead at the scene.</p> <p>In 2013, another inmate was <a href="" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', '', 'indicted for murder']);" >indicted for murder</a> after beating his cellmate to death.</p> <p>As for Barnes' release, Wark, the DA's spokesman, said his office has an ethical obligation not to pursue a case they cannot prove.</p> <p>"Given the state of the evidence today, we're in a position where we know we can't prevail at trial," he said.</p> <p>Wark said prosecutors still plan to pursue cases against <a href="" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article-', '', 'Kenneth Sales']);" >Kenneth Sales</a>, 24, and <a href="" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article-', '', 'Tyronne Seams']);" >Tyronne Seams</a>, 27, who were also implicated in Normil's death. Both men were indicted on charges of first-degree murder while in jail for unrelated offenses.</p> <p>Sales is being held at the Nashua Street Jail in Boston following an Aug. 21 arraignment, while Seams is being held out of state.</p> <p>Peter Van Delft, a spokesman for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, said Erickson's death was a suicide, but declined to give more information at this time.</p> <p>A copy of the <em>nolle prosequi</em> calling for Barnes' release is below.</p> <script src=''></script> <script> DV.load('', { width: 500, height: 600, sidebar: false, text: true, pdf: true, container: '#DV-viewer-1286223-eric-barnes-nolle-prosequi' }); </script> Kelsey LuingSun, 07 Sep 2014 22:55:10 -0400 NormilEric BarnesKenneth SalesTyronne SeamsThree Indicted in March 2013 Killing of Brosseau Normil<p>Three men, Eric Barnes, 29, of Dorchester, Kenneth Sales, 24, of Roxbury, and Tyronne Seams, 27, of Dorchester, were indicted Friday, April 11, on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the March 5, 2013, shooting death of Brousseau Normil, 20, at 7 Langdon Street in Roxbury.<br /> <span id="more-999"></span></p> <p>A fourth defendant, Brianna Erickson, 23, of Roxbury has been arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court for armed robbery in connection with Normil's death.</p> <p>Below is the press release from the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. </p> <blockquote><p>BOSTON, April 14, 2014—Boston Police arrested a Dorchester man on murder charges this weekend after Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against him and two co-defendants for murder and other offenses in the shooting death last year of 20-year-old Brousseau Normil, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Police Commissioner William Evans said today.</p> <p>Boston Police arrested ERIC BARNES (D.O.B. 6/10/85) of Dorchester on Saturday in connection with Normil’s 2013 shooting death. He, KENNETH SALES (D.O.B. 4/25/90) of Roxbury, and TYRONNE SEAMS (D.O.B. 3/6/86) of Dorchester were indicted Friday on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery. Sales is additionally charged with unlawful possession of a firearm; a fourth defendant, BRIANNA ERICKSON (D.O.B. 10/27/91) of Roxbury, was indicted for armed robbery, an offense for which she has already been arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court.</p> <p>Barnes is expected to be arraigned on the indictments tomorrow in Suffolk Superior Court. Sales and Seams are currently held on unrelated charges in Maine and Rhode Island respectively; they are expected to be returned to Massachusetts for arraignment at an undetermined future date. Erickson is currently held on high bail on her municipal court case; her Superior Court arraignment has likewise not yet been scheduled.</p> <p>Boston Police responded to the area of 7 Langdon St. in Roxbury on the afternoon of March 5, 2013, after a witness reported seeing a body inside. The witness reported that he had seen the car parked in the same spot all day long on the day prior.</p> <p>The preliminary investigation revealed that the man was Normil, a resident of Cambridge, and that he had rented the vehicle some time earlier. He was deceased when investigators arrived at the scene and pathologists determined that he had suffered a fatal gunshot wound. Continued investigation by detectives on the street and prosecutors in the Suffolk County Grand Jury developed evidence that he had been shot during the course of an armed robbery.</p> <p>Normil’s homicide is the second from 2013 to yield arrests in 2014. JAVAINE WATSON (D.O.B. 10/11/90) and ANDREW ROBERTSON (D.O.B. 6/9/76) were charged in January and February with the December 2013 shooting death of Romeo McCubbin in Dorchester.</p> <p>Assistant District Attorney Mark Lee, deputy chief of the DA’s Homicide Unit, led the grand jury investigation into Normil’s slaying. Jennifer Sears is the assigned victim-witness advocate.</p> </blockquote> Haley HamiltonTue, 29 Jul 2014 17:56:12 -0400 NormilEric BarnesKenneth SalesTyronne SeamsEric Barnes Released Pending Trial<p>A Dorchester man who was arrested for the March 2013 shooting death of 20-year-old Cambridge resident <a href="" title="Brousseau Normil" target="_blank">Brousseau Normil</a> has been released on his own recognizance by a Suffolk County Superior Court judge.</p> <p><a href="" title="Eric Barnes" target="_blank">Eric Barnes</a>, 29, was granted a motion for reduction of bail by Regional Administrative Judge Jeffrey A. Locke yesterday. Under the conditions of his release, Barnes is bound to a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.</p> <p>Barnes, along with <a href="" title="Kenneth Sales" target="_blank">Kenneth Sales</a>, 24, and <a href="" title="Tyronne Seams" target="_blank">Tyrone Seams</a>, 27, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery back in April. He is scheduled to return to court for a status disposition on Aug. 19, 2014.</p> <p>A copy of Barnes' indictment has been added below.</p> <script src=''></script> <script> DV.load('', { width: 600, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: true, pdf: true, container: '#DV-viewer-1237425-eric-barnes-indictment' }); </script> Kelsey LuingFri, 20 Jun 2014 20:42:50 -0400 NormilEric BarnesKenneth SalesTyronne Seams