Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Florida Executes James Barnes on August 3, 2023

James Barnes, Florida

Updated: Thursday, August 3, 2023

James Barnes Florida Death Row Inmate

On Thursday, August 3, 2023, James Barnes was executed in Florida.  He was pronounced dead at 6:13pm local time inside the execution chamber at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida.  James was 61 years of age.  He was convicted of murdering 41-year-old nurse, Patricia “Patsy” Miller on April 20, 1988, in Melbourne, Florida.  James spent the last 30 years of his life on death row in Florida.

James was born in Maryland. He has four other siblings, including a twin sister. James was abused as a child. James completed 13 years of schooling.

On the night of April 20, 1988, a man broke into the condominium of Patricia “Patsy” Miller. Patricia was sexually assaulted, beaten with a hammer, and then had her bed set on fire. She died from blunt force trauma. James Barnes was a person of interest in the case, however, police were unable to tie him to crime. DNA evidence was recovered from the scene of the crime and Barnes voluntarily gave police his blood. However, at this time, DNA testing was not advanced enough to produce a match.

On December 11, 1997, Barnes murdered his 44-year-old estranged wife, Linda in West Melbourne, Florida. Days earlier, a restringing order against Barnes had been issued to Linda. After murdering Linda, Barnes stuffed her body in a closet and remained at the house. He was arrested the following day and charged with Linda’s murder.

Barnes pled guilty to avoid capital punishment and was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. During his time in prison, Barnes converted to Islam. While fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, Barnes sent a letter to the assistant state attorney confessing to the unsolved murder of Patsy. Barnes waived his right to a jury and represented himself at trial in 2006. He pled guilty and was sentenced to death on December 13, 2007.

While on death row, Barnes also confessed to the unsolved murders of Chester Ralph Wetmore and Brenda Joyce Fletcher. He has not been charged with either murder.

Barnes waived his rights to appeal and dismissed his lawyers. 

Please pray for the families of Patsy Miller, Linda Barnes, Chester Wetmore, and Brenda Fletcher.  Please pray for all affected by the crimes of James Barnes.  Pray for peace for James’ family. 

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