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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
    Terminator is offline BANNED
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    6'7, 240 lb 25 yr old man beats 5'02, 100 lb, 72 yr old to death...and gets off

    BRADENTON -- Ervin Barfield feels dejected, enraged and absolutely helpless.

    His dad is dead, the 25-year-old man once accused of killing him is free, and the prosecutors handling the case "just didn't do their jobs," Barfield said.

    Prosecutors dropped charges this week against Jamaal Lambert, 25, who had been arrested on a manslaughter charge in the death of James Barfield, his 72-year-old landlord.

    They said Lambert acted in self-defense when he repeatedly struck Barfield during a scuffle May 10 outside an apartment complex in downtown Bradenton, according to court records released this week.

    "I really don't understand what happened or why," Ervin Barfield said last week after learning that prosecutors dropped the manslaughter count.

    Lambert, who had been held in the Manatee County jail on a $250,000 bail, has been released from custody but could not immediately be reached. State records show Lambert twice spent time in prison on burglary charges.

    The dropped charge was sharply criticized by James Barfield's family, who called the decision "ridiculous" and vowed to press state officials until they reconsider.

    While the state attorney's office has declined to pursue the case, Ervin Barfield said he will push state and local law enforcement officials to intercede. It could be difficult to sway the state attorney's office, although Bradenton police officials are scheduled to meet with prosecutors next week.

    While state charges are the responsibility of local prosecutors, the decision could be reversed at the behest of the governor or a grand jury.

    "It's absurd," said Ervin Barfield, whose father died two weeks after the May 10 fight. "I mean, c'mon -- a 72-year-old man against a 25-year-old guy? I don't see where self-defense comes into it."

    There was certainly a physical mismatch, as the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Lambert emerged unscathed while the 5-2, 100-pound Barfield was later hospitalized with a broken jaw, injured eye and swollen brain.

    Despite the injuries, however, prosecutors said their conclusion was predicated on three factors: Barfield had a loaded gun, he made a series of racial slurs at Lambert, and a witness lied to detectives in an attempt to portray Lambert as a robber.

    Prosecutors said Barfield was known to carry a loaded pistol in his truck and had previously fired it at a Latino man whom Barfield had called racist names.

    Racial slurs were a major factor this time, as prosecutors believe Barfield -- who had threatened Lambert in the past -- unleashed a string of vulgarities as he chased the tenant around a parked car.

    "Get off my property, you (racial epithet)," yelled Barfield, who is white.

    "Don't call me that," demanded Lambert, who is black.

    According to the prosecutors' report:

    Barfield, who owned the apartment, was enraged that Lambert was staying at his girlfriend's home without paying rent. He then jabbed a finger at Lambert, who slapped the landlord in the face.

    Barfield took a wild swing back, missed and fell to the ground. Another epithet led to another slap by Lambert until the woman Barfield had been visiting interceded.

    It is this woman's testimony that could have propelled a criminal case, but it slowly deteriorated during interviews with detectives to the point that it destroyed her credibility and the manslaughter charge along with it, prosecutors said.

    The woman initially told detectives that Lambert ran upstairs and handed her $1,700 in cash -- leading to a robbery charge when authorities accused the tenant of stealing the money from Barfield. When that claim was disproved, the robbery count was dropped, and her account of the fistfight soon began to unravel.

    "Despite the best efforts of the Bradenton Police Department to locate witnesses," wrote Assistant State Attorney Angel Colonneso, "there are no independent witnesses to what transpired between the defendant and the victim."

    What, then, of the landlord's injuries?

    Neither prosecutors nor a preliminary autopsy report indicated that the fight caused Barfield's death, and the state attorney's office report said that he developed pneumonia while in the hospital.

    The pneumonia, prosecutors claim, was the cause of death.

    But Ervin Barfield isn't so sure. Saying that his father "looked like he had been dragged to death," Ervin Barfield was incredulous that prosecutors had labeled his father a violent, boozing racist.

    The next move could be taken by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or the Bradenton police, two agencies that Barfield has consulted in recent days. Barfield hopes officials at either agency can sway local prosecutors to bring charges anew -- although he acknowledged that a change in course could be a longshot.

    "Anybody who knew my father knew he could get along with everyone," Barfield said. "He was one of the nicest guys in the world. When I first heard they were going to drop the charges, I just couldn't believe it.

    "All of a sudden they say they don't have enough evidence? That's just ridiculous."

  2. #2
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    So, I guess if the black guy was packin and shot the old man instead, since the old man was armed it wouldn't have made the news?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
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  3. #3
    lepdford's Avatar
    lepdford is offline K-9 Officer
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    I was not there....but if someone pointed a gun at me, and I was in fear of serious bodily injury or death, I would do what I needed to do to stop the threat as well!
    K-9 When the door pops...The bullshit stops!

    Go ahead run...I'll even give you a head start!

    When the public needs help, they call the Police.
    When the Police needs help, they call SWAT.
    When SWAT needs help, they call K-9!

    Duty not Reward

  4. #4
    Lazy Fed's Avatar
    Lazy Fed is offline Curmudgeon
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    Glad I am not working that one......

  5. #5
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    The first thing that came to mind was Of Mice and Men.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

 

 

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