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Man accused of fatally shooting construction worker at repaving site ordered detained

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By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann Reporter covering crime, specifically the D.C. police department Email Bio Follow Keith L. Alexander Keith L. Alexander Reporter covering crime and courts, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases Email Bio Follow May 1 at 7:03 PM The lawyer for a man accused of fatally shooting a construction worker at his job site in Southeast Washington argued in court on Wednesday that his client acted in self-defense.

Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra

But a prosecutor said Terrance Michael Barnes, 29, chased the victim for a block after arguing with him on the afternoon of April 17 and shot him on Southern Avenue in the Marshall Heights neighborhood

Barry Holmes, 57, of Landover, Md., was struck once in the right side of his chest and died at a hospital

Two witnesses told police they heard Barnes object when Holmes directed him to not cross a street in the middle of construction activity, according to an arrest affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court. Holmes worked directing traffic for Capitol Paving

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham has described the shooting as “a completely unnecessary loss of life.”

[ Construction worker fatally shot at work site in Southeast Washington ]

Barry Holmes, 57, of Landover, Md., was fatally shot April 17, as he directed traffic for a construction company that is repaving Southern Avenue in Southeast Washington. (D.C. police) Holmes’s sister reported last week that a witness had told relatives that the gunman was angry about being warned not to cross Southern Avenue. At least two witnesses backed that version, the police affidavit says, and several told detectives the shooter took a gun from his shoulder satchel

Several witnesses told police they heard a man threaten Holmes as he held a pole with a stop sign on it. “Keep running your mouth, keep running your mouth. I’m going to shoot you,” one witness told police the man said, according to the police affidavit

Police said in the affidavit that witnesses reported seeing Holmes wave his pole at Barnes, but that it did not appear he was threatening his life

Police said the two men had argued at the same location several days before the killing, but it appears they did not know each other

Barnes, who was escorted into the courtroom under heavy security, wore a gray hoodie and a jacket with “Smile More” written across the back. Jeff Stein, his attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, told the judge that “my client’s actions were in self-defense.” He said Barnes had no prior arrests or convictions as an adult

Magistrate Judge Renee Raymond said Barnes had tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as K2, and determined there was enough evidence to order him held until his next hearing May 13

Barnes worked as a busboy at Succotash, a restaurant in downtown Washington. After the hearing, his brother, Charles Perry, said, “This isn’t his nature.”

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