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David Michael BARNETT





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: February 4, 1996
Date of arrest: Next day (surrenders)
Date of birth: May 18, 1976
Victims profile: His grandparents
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 2, 1997

United States Court of Appeals
For the Eighth Circuit

opinion 07-1234

Supreme Court of Missouri

opinion 79985

State of Missouri v. David Barnett

980 S.W. 2d 297 (Mo.banc 1998)

Case Facts: 

During January and the first few days of February 1996, David Barnett had been living with friends in the Glendale area.

He had spoken several times to his friends about his grandparentís car, a 1995 Dodge Intrepid, and had told them that his grandparents were going to rent this car to him.

About 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 4, 1996, Barnett walked to the home of his grandparents, who were away attending Sunday school and church services at the Kirkwood Baptist church.

Barnett entered the home, apparently through a bedroom window, sat down on the couch, turned on the television, and soon fell asleep. When he awoke, he phoned his stepbrother Scott and boasted that he had just won the lottery last night and had suddenly come into a large sum of money.

Barnett was waiting for his grandparents when they returned home around 1:00 p.m. He confronted his grandmother and pushed her down in the hallway. He then pushed his grandfather to the floor and grabbed a knife that was lying on the nearby kitchen table.

As his grandfather rose from the floor, Barnett kicked him in the head, and when he fell to the floor again, Barnett stabbed him repeatedly in the neck area. All told, Barnett inflicted ten stab wounds and numerous cuts to his grandfatherís neck, face, and hands.

Satisfied that he had killed his grandfather, Barnett returned to the kitchen to get another knife and then began stabbing his grandmother in her neck as well. Once again, Barnett returned to the kitchen to get more knives.

This time he retrieved two knives with which he continued to stab his grandmother until she, too, was killed. She suffered a total of 12 stab wounds to her neck and numerous cuts to her face.

After the attack, Barnett concealed one of the knives by placing it between two mattress pads in his grandparentís bedroom. Next, he went to the bathroom and washed the blood off his hands.

He then removed the keys to the 1995 Dodge Intrepid that were dangling from the lock in the back door, retrieved his coat, and took approximately 120 dollars from his grandmotherís purse.

Before leaving the house, Barnett stood silently next to his victims to hear if they were still breathing. After determining that his victims were dead, Barnett lowered two of the shades in the house, locked up, and drove off in the victimsí car.

Early the next morning, police officers found the victimsí car parked in a residential area of Glendale. Barnett walked up to the uniformed officers and confessed that he had committed the murders.


David Barnett



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