The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 9, 2013

Witness: Shooting wasn’t intentional

Barnes accused of manslaughter

By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer

SHARON — Jontae Maurice Barnes didn’t set out to shoot Le’Angelo “Lee Lee” Crumby Ford on Jan. 20 at a house in Sharon where basketball players hung out together.

Known as “Bub” to his friends and police, Barnes, 19, of 381 Liberty St., Sharon, appeared Friday for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Dennis M. Songer, Sharon.

Barnes was “clicking” a small silver revolver in the living room of the house at 20 Strawbridge Ave., Darrell Stovall testified.

He said Barnes was handling the gun at about midnight and the 17-year-old Ford asked to see it.

Barnes murmured something about “heart” and wouldn’t hand it over; Ford then grabbed at the gun, which ultimately went off, Stovall said.

Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems said that according to county Coroner J. Bradley McGonigle’s report ruling the death a homicide, the bullet hit a rib and pierced Ford’s aorta and esophagus before settling in his stomach.

“I heard two clicks and a bang,” Stovall testified. “He (Ford) fell on me.”

Barnes and Vandell Lamont Spicer, 21, who lived at 20 Strawbridge, tended to Ford and asked everyone else to leave the house, Stovall said.

After the gun went off, Barnes and Spicer took Ford to the emergency room of Sharon Regional Health System.

Barnes identified himself to hospital security guard David DeVenney as they dropped off Ford, a Sharon High School sophomore.

Barnes left the hospital after asking where the restrooms were, DeVenney testified.

Sharon policeman Ryan Chmura, who was responding to a call from the hospital reporting Ford’s arrival, said he saw Barnes walking west on East State Street.

Upon learning from DeVenney that Barnes had dropped off Ford, Chmura pursued Barnes, finding and detaining him at Prindle Street and Edgewood Road and then taking him to the police station.

After being informed of his Miranda rights, Barnes admitted he shot Ford, Chmura testified.

Barnes was initially charged with criminal homicide, a blanket charge that was withdrawn Friday when Kochems added charges of involuntary manslaughter and third-degree murder to the criminal complaint.

Songer bound those charges to common pleas court and ordered Barnes held without bail in Mercer County Jail.