Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Augustan gets 5 years in prison in fatal 2011 shooting

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 1:24 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 1:30 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

A mother who lost her son hugged the mother of the man who shot him after he was sentenced to prison Wednesday.

Back | Next
Johndrick Lors Levert Barnes looks at relatives as he's led out of court. Barnes, 21, of Augusta, was sentenced to five years in prison, with credit for the nearly two years he's already served, followed by two years probation and a $1,000 fine in the 2011 fatal shooting of James Sterling "Jamie" Gillette Jr.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Johndrick Lors Levert Barnes looks at relatives as he's led out of court. Barnes, 21, of Augusta, was sentenced to five years in prison, with credit for the nearly two years he's already served, followed by two years probation and a $1,000 fine in the 2011 fatal shooting of James Sterling "Jamie" Gillette Jr.


Johndrick Lors Levert Barnes, 21, of Augusta, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the March 19, 2011, shooting of James Sterling “Jamie” Gillette Jr., 19.

Superior Court Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Barnes to five years in prison, with credit for the nearly two years he already has served, followed by two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine. The hearing took place at the Columbia County Justice Center in Evans.

Gillette’s mother, Michelle Stewart Baker, and Barnes’ mother, Kesia Sampson, and their families vowed to work together to help prevent other families from the same outcomes.

“Unity is power,” Sampson said. “Turn the bad into the good. … Unity is power, and we’re going to work together.”

Overstreet urged Barnes to dedicate time during his probation to CSRA Saving our Students, which Baker and Gillette’s aunt, Anita Mills, started. Through the organization, they promote gun safety, bullying awareness and good decision-making in Richmond County schools.

“We’ve suffered a tragedy,” Baker said. “We want to do whatever we can do to save other children and families from having to go through the same thing.”

Gillette was an employee of the Belair Conference Center, where he was working a 16th birthday party for one of soul singer James Brown’s granddaughters. Word of the party spread, and about 200 people showed up. Fights broke out inside, so guests were ushered outside. Gillette was holding the door for people to go outside when shooting started in the parking lot.

Barnes shot a .380-caliber pistol into the air, and a stray bullet hit Gillette.

Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said that it is clear a bullet from Barnes’ gun killed Gillette but that he doesn’t believe it was an intentional shooting.

“Johndrick is very remorseful for ever going to that party,” said his attorney, Clayton Jolly. The shooting was an “act of carelessness and a lack of thinking through.”

“It is a tragedy for both sides,” Jolly said.

Comments (22) 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.
CobaltGeorge
170598
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/30/13 - 02:32 pm
13
2
I Guess

Johndrick Lors Levert Barnes had a CWP.

The value of a human is sure decreasing.....5 years and $1000.00 FINE.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 01/30/13 - 02:36 pm
12
1
Lawlessness Is What It Was !
Unpublished

What it was, was a stupid teenager in unlawful possession of a firearm that was probably stolen. That's what it was. And if stupid teenager had not been in unlawful possession of said firearm, Mr. Gillette would still be alive. You can sugar coat this anyway you want to, but the fact remains that a black teenager had a gun that he was not legally supposed to have. All of this Liberal gun control drivel is not addressing the REAL PROBLEM. Who sold him the D@#$ gun ?? That person needs to be in jail for a long time. BTW: it is only a tragedy on ONE side.

dichotomy
36290
Points
dichotomy 01/30/13 - 03:35 pm
15
1
5 years???? I've seen people

5 years???? I've seen people get more for involuntary manslaughter due to a car wreck. Give me a break. He could not have had a handgun he legally purchased. He could not have had a carry permit. Is this an example of how we are going to be more strict involving people who commit crimes with guns? He killed a young man through the act of being a big mouthed show off heathen. He should have got 20 years minimum.

AutumnLeaves
9641
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/30/13 - 03:50 pm
3
9
Mother of the victim:

If the mother and family of the victim are satisfied with the sentence then I am. I was appalled when I first heard the sentence, because this man shot into a crowd of young people. But I was not present in court, don't know what was taken into consideration and I don't know what the victim's family wished. I wonder if the victim's family's compassion for the shooter and his family was an important factor in the decision for a light sentence?

avidreader
3478
Points
avidreader 01/30/13 - 04:45 pm
5
4
READ THIS!

In our lives, we sometimes run across people who are truly evil. We can look into their eyes and see the blank, dark stare. We warn others to avoid all contact with this person. There is little hope that positive change will ever surface. Violence and ill will tend to follow this person. When tragic events occur, the family will rally around the person and profess their love and concern, and the tears will flow. However, deep down in Momma's heart she knows that she failed her child. She did not raise her child to be a civilized human. She knows that evil lies dormant in the wiring in her child's brain.

I offer my best wishes to Michelle Baker, and I hope that she fully recovers from her son's murder. I also hope that she makes wise decisions in her near future.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 01/30/13 - 05:06 pm
10
1
Judge Overstreet

... tough on crime. He keeps telling us he is. Is this the same jurist who locked up a teenage girl for dry-humping a classmate and threatened with five years, while a group attempting simulated homosexual rape were sent home with candy? Is he taking his meds?

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 01/30/13 - 05:08 pm
8
2
Look at that smile

... that says, "I got over on you be-yotches."

concercitizen
727
Points
concercitizen 01/30/13 - 05:33 pm
10
1
A human life in exchange for

A human life in exchange for five years and two years probation? And credit for time already served? He will be back on the street before anyone misses him. I really do not know how a defense attorney can sleep at night. There is no way it can be considered a tragedy for him. The real tragedy is that he really did get a slap on the wrist for this crime. This really sends a message to those who perpetrate crimes, just say it was an accident, that you really were not aiming at any one in particular, and you are off scot free. In my book, this was pure murder.And one other thing;how is he supposed to pay a fine if he is locked up for the next two and a half years?

soitgoes
900
Points
soitgoes 01/30/13 - 06:05 pm
0
7
don't blame the defense lawyer

He just did his job, and did it well apparently. If anyone is to "blame" for sentence perceived as too light, look to the man in the robe behind the bench... Prayers to the family who lost a loved one. Please let's stop these senseless black-on-black crimes. NOBODY wins; everybody loses...

AutumnLeaves
9641
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/30/13 - 07:10 pm
7
2
soitgoes, excuse me...

soitgoes, excuse me, just for the record, I'm pretty sure this was a black on white crime, if you're going to delineate the race of the victim. I believe he just began working at the conference center and at the point of being shot was trying to give cover to the teens that were re-entering the building trying to escape the shots. As long as people separate out and race bait crimes as black on black or white on black and leave out that hate crimes include black on white (and you might be surprised how many of those there are) nobody wins; everybody loses! I also find it odd that since the group there was predominantly black, it was a lone white figure that ends up with a bullet in him. ALL life matters!

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 01/30/13 - 07:16 pm
8
1
Murder
Unpublished

As long as James Sterling is dead Johndrick Barnes should stay in jail. That is real gun control President Osama!!!

linux
96
Points
linux 01/30/13 - 07:53 pm
9
1
Where's the penalty?

One of the questions that was asked of Obama re: gun control was why not increase the penalty for using a gun illegally. The answer was they didn't want to do that.

If liberals really wanted to make a dent in getting illegal guns of the street (instead of legal guns), they would tack on 10 or 15 years to any crime or incident that used a gun, or was used by a person who was not authorized to carry a gun.

They don't want to do that. They aren't serious.

linux
96
Points
linux 01/30/13 - 07:57 pm
8
1
Stray bullet?

"Barnes shot a .380 pistol into the air, and a stray bullet hit Gillette."

That's "very" unlikely to happen it the comment is meant to say he fired it vertically and it ricocheted off something and killed somebody. I think more likely is that he fired it horizontally, directly into the crowd. Whether he was firing at somebody in particular or not will never be known.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 01/30/13 - 09:36 pm
7
0
This

is Justice? I think NOT!

nanowerx
1359
Points
nanowerx 01/31/13 - 07:34 am
7
0
Hmm

Drug dealers get more time than that...

grinder48
2039
Points
grinder48 01/31/13 - 09:41 am
0
1
Ridiculous Sentence!
Unpublished

The sentence is absurd ! Overstreet is an idiot.

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 01/31/13 - 09:43 am
3
3
Gillete's family created the

Gillete's family created the organization SAVE in hopes to avoid this same type of thing happening. Obviously they believe that this was a youthful mistake and have faith that a powerful lesson has been learned and can be used to save others. What a courageous and strong step of FAITH to take, in agreeing to let the person responsible for their loss, have the opportunity to support the very thing that has come out of James' death.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 01/31/13 - 11:29 am
5
0
@Autumnleaves

If this teenager, who was stupid enough to shoot in a crowd of over 200 people, ever does it again and kills another person; is that what they are supposed to tell the family of the next victim?

District Attorney; "Yes, he took a gun into a crowd and fired it in the presence of over 200 people; but the family of the deceased didn't want him going to prison for a long time so he only got five years. Sorry for your loss, but it was the last families fault."

Really? So when do we leave prosecution decisions up the the victim's family? Oooh, I see; well then lets do away with domestic violence laws, because RARELY does a woman want to prosecute her husband that has beat her to a pulp.

We see this kind of punishment on someone who used a gun and killed someone; then the LEFT wants to take MY GUNS? Good luck with that!!

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 01/31/13 - 02:57 pm
6
0
@butterfly

If I could give you 10 thumbs down I would. That may surprise some people, being that this post APPEARS so compassionate and thoughtful. But appearances can be deceptive!!

"What a courageous and strong step of FAITH to take, in agreeing to let the person responsible for their loss, have the opportunity to support the very thing that has come out of James' death."

The victims family can have all the compassion they want for Mr. Barnes, that is their business and I wouldn't even want to advise them about that. But, Mr. Barnes should NOT have the opportunity to "Support the very thing" unless he does it from prison. Until we (as society) INSIST these types incidents WILL NOT be tolerated, they will continue to happen. Do you think 5 years sends that message of intolerance?

Your compassionate comment is exactly what I'm talking about; it's misplaced compassion. Compassion for the shooter, when he deserves none.

You SEVERELY punish people like this and after a few years of people seeing they AREN'T getting ANY light sentences. It might make other teenage gang bangers think twice about even carrying a firearm, not to mention using one. But, when you are giving them 5 years to go hang out with their hommies, playing spades and dominos; they've learned NOTHING!! He has already served two years, so he will definately be out within a year. So he has a year to go watch more television, play basketball, cards, dominos, etc. Yeah, I would say thats a lesson learned, wouldn't you?

Time1
171
Points
Time1 01/31/13 - 12:35 pm
4
0
He will be out in 14 months

He will be out in 14 months if not sooner.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 01/31/13 - 03:01 pm
3
0
Well Austin, when I'm working

Well Austin, when I'm working and riding in my patrol car, I listen to you all the time. Unfortunately, I'm off for probably 3 weeks having just had twin babies delivered last Friday, so I probably won't be able to catch your broadcast. If you can give a little information on here, please do so; I'll check back in.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/31/13 - 10:02 pm
3
0
What is wrong with Judge

What is wrong with Judge Carlisle? This is just wrong. You can be forgiving without removing the consequences. Soon, probation will be the normal sentence for murder. It just about is here. If he gets out and kills again, the parents and the judge should get a life sentence without parole.

PitchFork007
473
Points
PitchFork007 01/31/13 - 09:57 pm
2
0
Augusta's gun crime continues to proliferate

Augusta's gun crime continues to proliferate under Judge Overstreet's lenient plea-bargain justice system. Here again the victim and his family did not get justice. Judge Overstreet seems to be completely oblivious to the public outcry targeted at gun crimes and random shootings such as this one. We want long, hard-time prison terms for these types of shooters!

itsanotherday1
47013
Points
itsanotherday1 01/31/13 - 10:16 pm
1
0
I agree 100% with Linux, et al.

You want gun control? Throw the durn book at people who commit crimes with guns. Add 10-15 yrs to whatever crime was committed. MANDATORY.

bumblebeerose
694
Points
bumblebeerose 02/01/13 - 03:52 am
1
0
Time Served

He will be out in less than seven months but that will be kept a big secret.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Georgia Regents' hospital plan chosen

Georgia Regents Medical Center won a lengthy and hardfought battle over two other Augusta hospitals to build the first hospital in Columbia County, the Georgia Department of Community Health ...
Search Augusta jobs