OLATHE, Kan. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man will spend at least 50 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
A Johnson County, Kansas, judge sentenced Clyde James Barns, Junior to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years for the first-degree murder of Jessica Smith. He will also serve an additional year for violating a protection order.
A jury convicted Barnes of premeditated first-degree murder and other related crimes in May 2022.
Olathe police who were responding to a burglary call at Smith’s home on July 5, 2020, found her body inside. They arrested Barnes hours later.
A witness told police he saw a man dressed in black, baggy clothes and a mask holding a machete or ax standing over Smith. The witness then ran away from the residence.
When police were in the area searching, a nearby homeowner told police he found what he believed to be an ax on his property. It was ultimately determined to be a mattock, a hand tool similar to a pickaxe, and had blood stains on it.
At the time of Smith’s death, authorities said Barnes was out on bond for a stalking charge involving Smith, but the charge was later dismissed.
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