Augusta shooting victim remembered through march

Saturday, July 21, 2012 7:00 PM
Last updated Sunday, July 22, 2012 3:04 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Katrina Moore remembers one Christmas as a child when her grandmother took a branch off the pecan tree behind her house and carefully removed all the leaves. She wrapped the bare branch with aluminum foil and taped some penny candy from her store to it.

Back | Next
Participants carry a banner during a "stop the killing" march, which started at the house of Rosa Lee Barnes on Eighth Avenue in Augusta. The 83-year-old was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting 15 years ago.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Participants carry a banner during a "stop the killing" march, which started at the house of Rosa Lee Barnes on Eighth Avenue in Augusta. The 83-year-old was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting 15 years ago.

“It was our Christmas tree,” Moore said. “She was a creative woman.”

It has been 15 years since 83-year-old Rosa Lee Barnes, or Big Mama, handed her grandchild to his mother and headed to bed. Minutes later, her home was sprayed with bullets. She was hit six times and died.

“People need to understand when you take a life like that, violently, it affects everyone around that person for the rest of their lives,” Moore said.

On Saturday afternoon, Moore and her family invited other families hurt by violent crime to a “stop the killing” march and vigil starting at Barnes’ home on Eighth Avenue in Augusta. Dozens showed up wearing shirts with Barnes’ face on them.

Leading the march was Juvenile Court Judge Willie Saun­ders, who was an assistant district attorney on Barnes’ case and is still close with the family.

“That case took a lot of work,” he said. “It meant a lot to this family and this neighborhood.”

Three men were convicted, though one, Lorenzo Lindsey, was acquitted on a technicality. A few years later, he was convicted of hiring someone to kill the state’s key witness against him. In 2009, Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced him to life in prison plus five years.

Barnes owned a small grocery store a few doors down from her house where she watched her grandchildren daily. It has since been knocked down, but Moore said she is in the process of trying to buy the land from the county.

Moore said the family gets together each July to remember her and to remind neighbors of the impact the violence had on them.

“It breaks my heart my kids won’t get to grow up with her wisdom,” Moore said. “She loved God and had such a strong faith. She really listened when you had something you needed to talk about.”

Barnes’ family hopes to build a halfway house for the homeless in the lot where the store used to be.

“That’s what she was about,” Moore said.

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
itsanotherday1 07/21/12 - 08:37 pm
I'm glad to see these folks

I'm glad to see these folks taking a stand, but if they want to get at the root of the problem they have to change the culture. High illegitimate birth rates and government dependency have to be addressed. Many of these same folks marching probably have children born out of wedlock, or the legitimate father is long gone; but more importantly, they won't make much of an effort to break the cycle. Once they recognize and admit the source of the problem is THEM and own it, things will change.

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 07/21/12 - 09:51 pm
I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you said, its.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 07/22/12 - 02:22 am
KUDOS to Judge Saunders...

for having the courage to support with his presence neighborhood efforts to bring peace to inner city streets.

Where was Judge Overstreet? Where was "the Chief?" Where was Jack?

itsanotherday1 07/22/12 - 08:23 am

That is why I voted against Overstreet He needs to take a hike.

TO BLESSED32 07/22/12 - 12:19 pm

What do any of that has to do with my great grandmother being killed! Rather people have kids out of wedlock or not, don't make them responsible for the lifestyle they choose to take.It's not just black people anyway, white people all people make the same decision.Still don't make it right for a person to take someone life.The killing at the batman movie where 12 people was killed was committed by a white man,and a college student at that is it his parent's fault for what he choose to do! i don't think so.You itsanotherday1 need to recognize that the problem is in the world and not a person's race.

Fiat_Lux 07/22/12 - 04:47 pm
Rosa Lee Barnes was a great woman

Her life was a hidden one, but one devoted to loving others. I know this without ever having met her because of the legacy of love she left behind. Her descendants are the proof of her greatness, because she clearly passed that greatness on to them.

Only people with greatness within have the courage and tenacity to stand up year after year and cry out against barbarity as an act of remembrance for someone who passed on so much love to and through them.

You honor us all by your presence. Thank you.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs