Funeral held for man who killed girl at McDonald's

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COVINGTON, Ga. --- A funeral was held Thursday for a man convicted of killing a 2-year-old and injuring her mother, aunt and two young cousins in an attack with a car at a McDonald's restaurant three years ago.

Shortly after his arrest in May 2006, it was learned that Lanny Perry Barnes had leukemia.

Sharmelle Brooks, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections, confirmed the 49-year-old Mr. Barnes died June 24 at Augusta State Medical Prison.

Witnesses said Mr. Barnes smiled and laughed as he struck the family leaving the Covington restaurant and ran over them several times, killing Avery Nicole King of Asheville, N.C. No motive was established.

The child's pregnant mo- ther, Anita King, aunt Steph- anie Casola, and Ms. Casola's sons Isaac and Jacob were injured.

The two women demonstrated with others Thursday outside the church during Mr. Barnes' funeral.

Demonstrators held signs saying "Today the world is a better place," and "Child Murder," and a large banner with pictures of Avery.

Paul Casola, the father of Isaac and Jacob, 6 and 7, told The Covington News that he had personally forgiven Mr. Barnes.

"I had to let everything I had toward Lanny Barnes go," he said. "What I have are two wonderful boys ... so I have everything to be thankful for. I am still sad that Avery was taken from us."

According to retired Newton County Sheriff Joe Nichols, Mr. Barnes' medical bills exceeded $470,000, a third of his department's medical care budget in the 17 months he was in custody before being sentenced to life with no parole for murder and aggravated battery.

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Nammy3 07/03/09 - 01:58 am
One down, how many more to

One down, how many more to go?

Billy Shears
Billy Shears 07/03/09 - 04:09 am
I guess since the press gave

I guess since the press gave so much coverage to Jacko's passing, this guy deserves some too.

pantherluvcik 07/03/09 - 07:34 am
They should have saved that

They should have saved that $470,000 and just given him the death penalty with a speedy execution... Idiot

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