Criminal Justice News

Thursday, March 14, 2013

US Marshals Add Convicted Murderer and Prison Escapee to 15 Most Wanted

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Marshals Service added a convicted murderer and prison escapee to its 15 Most Wanted fugitive list today.

Keana Barnes is wanted in the Middle District of Louisiana for escaping from the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel, La., where she was serving a 25-year sentence for two counts of manslaughter.

Barnes has a criminal history dating back to 1999 with prior convictions for aggravated assault, battery, theft and manslaughter. In March 2002, Barnes was arrested by the New Orleans Police Department for murder when she stabbed her victim a total of 17 times. Later in 2002, she was released pending the outcome of her murder trial. One year later in March 2003, Barnes committed her second murder, shooting her victim while he slept in a New Orleans apartment.

Barnes was apprehended in Mexico in May 2003 and extradited back to the United States. She pled guilty in 2004 to two counts of manslaughter and was sentenced to 25 years in prison to be served at the LCIW. On Jan. 1, Louisiana Department of Corrections officials discovered the glass window in Barnes’ cell was broken and she was missing. Officials believe Barnes made her escape by jumping out the first floor window, climbing several fences, including at least one barb wired fence, and eventually exiting the prison grounds.

“Barnes has an extremely violent criminal history and poses a direct threat to society, which is why we did not hesitate to add her to our 15 Most Wanted fugitive list,” Assistant Director for Investigative Operations William D. Snelson said. “Barnes’ criminal history dictates she will most assuredly commit another deadly crime. By adding such a violent fugitive to our 15 Most Wanted, the USMS has dedicated every available investigative resource to locate and apprehend Barnes before she can commit another heinous crime.”

Barnes has strong ties to New Orleans, is considered to be armed and dangerous, and poses an extreme danger to the community.

A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading directly to Barnes’ arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office or the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102.

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