Kenneth N. Barnes, 49, pleaded guilty as charged Monday to three counts of armed robbery with a firearm, five counts of armed robbery, nine gun charges and a handful of other property crimes, said District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office. The robberies took place from February 2016 until Barnes’ arrest in October 2016 at:
- Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in the 7600 block of Maple Street,
- a Smoothie King in the 200 block of North Carrollton Avenue,
- a Rite Aid drug store in the 1100 block of South Carrollton Avenue,
- the Maple Street Bookstore in the 7500 block of Maple Street,
- the Rite Aid in the 7100 block of St. Charles Avenue,
- a GNC in the 400 block of North Carrollton Avenue,
- a Baskin-Robbins in the 700 block of South Carrollton Avenue,
- Ale on Oak in the 8100 block of Oak Street,
- and a Shell gas station in the 600 block of South Carrollton Avenue.
Barnes made his plea before Criminal District Judge Karen Herman, who imposed the 25-year sentence, according ot Cannizzarro’s office:
In addressing the court Monday, Barnes attributed his crime spree to a lengthy addiction to crack cocaine. According to his guilty pleas, Barnes sought to fund his drug habit by holding up or burglarizing nine Uptown businesses and one private residence.
“We are truly fortunate that none of these robberies and burglaries ended in someone’s injury or death,” Cannizzaro said. “In several of these instances, that outcome was but a trigger-squeeze away. Cases such as this illustrate why the use and sale of illegal narcotics in our city should not so easily be dismissed as a ‘victimless crime.'”
The prosecutor in charge of the case was Assistant District Attorney Hilary Khoury.