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Walker pleads guilty to first degree murder in Barrett slaying

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Aaron Walker pleaded guilty to killing Kevin Barrett, Wednesday, July 30 in court. Photo by Sam Stockard

Three years after killing Kevin Barrett with his own SKS rifle, Aaron Walker pleaded guilty today.

Before Circuit Court Judge David Bragg, Walker, 25, of Bradyville Pike, entered a guilty plea to first-degree felony murder in the death of Barrett, 45, after gunning him down in July 2011 as he tried to escape a robbery at his Burks Hollow Road in southern Rutherford County.

The defendant, who also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery and especially aggravated kidnapping, will serve life in prison with the possibility of parole, according to the plea agreement.

Charges of premeditated murder, burglary and one count of aggravated robbery were dropped against Walker, Newman said.

“It’s been a long time,” Barrett’s mother, Barbara Thompson, said as she and other family members left the courtroom.

“Seems like forever. We miss him every day.”

Regina Flowers, Barrett’s girlfriend, who was bound and beaten during the incident, said, “I’m just never going to forget it.”

Assistant District Attorney J. Paul Newman told the court that Walker and co-defendant John Lamendola burglarized Barrett’s home in June and twice in July that year, one time stealing his rifle.

They returned July 25 and after watching Barrett leave the residence, went inside and beat and tied up Flowers. They held the rifle on her for an hour while demanding bank information and scouring the house for valuables, according to Newman.

Just moments after he finished unloading hay that day, Barrett entered his home and found the two men holding the gun on his girlfriend. When Barrett tried to run, Walker shot him once inside the home, then chased him outside and shot him in the shoulder. Barrett went down, and when he struggled back to his feet, Walker shot him again, this time in the head, killing him in the driveway, according to Newman.

Walker and Lamendola, 23, of Old Lascassas Highway, fled the scene in vehicles belonging to Barrett and Flowers and drove to Murfreesboro. Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies chased the suspects after spotting them near University Gables Apartments on South Rutherford Boulevard.

One of the suspects was arrested immediately and the other was apprehended not long afterward. During interviews, they both admitted their guilt in the crimes, Newman said.

Lamendola, who is being held on similar charges in Rutherford County jail on $1.6 million bond, is expected to be in court in two weeks when the prosecution will make a plea offer, Newman said.

“He had turned state’s evidence,” Newman said, noting Lamendola did not pull the trigger in the murder. “He was pretty easy.”

The assistant district attorney commended the efforts of Brittany Nicholson, a Belmont University Law School student, for putting in hundreds of hours on the case as an intern.

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Aaron Walker, guilty, Kevin Barrett, murder, plead
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Members Opinions:
August 01, 2014 at 5:50pm
After reading about the slaying of Kevin Barrett I was disheartened to know about this incident. Aaron Walker, a 25 year old citizen of Bradyville Park plead guilty to first-degree felony murder. Kevin Barrett, who was 45 at the the time of his death walked in to his home in July of 2011 and found his girl friend tied up at the hands of two men who threatened their safety at gun point. Regina Flowers was tied up by John Lamendola and Aaron Waker who burglarized the home that month and a month prior to the murder. The two men stole Barrett's SKS rifle, which would be used to take out Barrett the following month. The two men are now both pleading guilty to a plethora of charges. I feel no remorse for these gentlemen who obvious plotted on Barrett and his estate. Committing a murder is an atrocity, however killing someone with their own rifle is just plain disrespectful. These men conspired to commit a burglary that went bloody. The family is owed justice. They should have a piece of mind to know that these two will never get out of prison. Sadly Barrett was not able to receive justice from his burglarized home, and was victim of a senseless murder. Its good to know these men did not plead not guilty, feeling over whelmed with guilt when they were caught. It just goes to show that karma comes back in full swing. It is now time for these two to face the music that they were so instrumental in creating.
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