5 reasons why the ex-lover of Melissa Rose was found guilty of her murder

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Rose was shot and killed outside her John Hughes home while she was sitting in the truck of Errol “Errie” Barnes’ former boss, Damon “Chuka” Lewis almost five years ago.He shot her in the heart through the glass of the passenger window.

Yesterday, Justice Iain Morley turned to Barnes and said, “Stand up please. For the premeditated, planned murder by firearm of Melissa Rose on September 5, 2012 travelling to the scene in a hire car to confuse investigation, the sentence of this court is 39 years imprisonment.”

  1.  Barnes’ defense could not prove why the car he rented from Raddy’s Car Rental, was seen going to and fleeing the John Hughes scene on September 5, 2012.
  2. Three days before the murder, Barnes confronted Melissa with Chuka at her home, which frightened her. He was shouting, pulling on the locked door and threatened to chop them up, saying, ‘time longer than rope’ meaning he was going to end their affair abruptly.
  3. Prosecutors said there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence linking Barnes to the crime like the two women who testified that they saw the Nut Grove man with a gun on the night of the shooting.
  4. Raheem , Rose’s younger brother, testified that he saw Barnes driving a silver Nissan Almera on the road to Rose’s home on the night before the deceased was shot. A neighbour, Ricky Joseph also said he saw Barnes that same night and the evening after.
  5. Witness Verlyn Nikisha Theophile testified that he (Barnes) handed her a black revolver less than two hours before Rose was killed, Barnes said she was “jealous”.

“I didn’t show her anything, I tried to put her hand in my pants and she pulled away. Nikisha and I had a secret relationship. She knew I had a little money and she tried to get to me but I bad played her.”-Barnes

When the ruling was handed down, many questioned the length of the sentence and the judge explained the minimum calculated term for such an offence in the UK would have been 35 years.

But, given that prison conditions in Antigua & Barbuda are much harsher, he reduced the minimum time to be spent to 26 years, but it has to be earned through conduct.

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