Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco man who stole to pay bills convicted of robbing bank

Raymond Barnes robbed a San Antonio Citizens Federal Credit Union at 10:47 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2011. He didn't wear a mask, and he used his hand to mimic a gun in his shirt. He netted more than $7,000 and sped away. He was caught at 6 p.m. that same day.

It took a jury even less time to convict Barnes, 33, of the crime.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures," Assistant State Attorney Phil Matthey said, "but what the law doesn't allow us to do is to commit crimes to pay our bills."

Matthey gave his final arguments in Barnes' trial for second-degree robbery on Tuesday, and was referencing Barnes' taped confession to police. In an interview played for the jurors, Barnes said times were hard and he needed the money to pay for overdue expenses.

In fact, after the robbery, that's exactly what he did. He paid his phone, rent and cable bills and put $500 on a debit card for his girlfriend, according to his lawyer, Geoff Cox. Authorities recovered about $3,000.

"No matter how much sympathy you may have felt and no matter how sorry for him you felt," Matthey said, "you cannot base your verdict on feeling sorry for anybody."

Cox spent most of his closing argument stressing the importance of reasonable doubt, and the state's requirement to overcome a presumption of innocence.

Five women and one man returned a guilty verdict 20 minutes later.

The San Antonio robbery was not Barnes' first legal tussle.

He was found guilty of obtaining property for a worthless check in 2004. A year later, he was found guilty of armed robbery, for which he served a prison sentence from 2004 to 2009.

Per Florida law, because Barnes is a reoffender, he faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, plus a possible additional 15 years for being habitually violent.

He will be sentenced in November and is in the custody of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office until then.

Pasco man who stole to pay bills convicted of robbing bank 09/24/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas sees slight increase in black and first-year teachers


    A year after the Pinellas County school district was chastised in a state report for clustering inexperienced teachers in the state's most struggling schools, the district has reported a first look at its teacher corps.

    The Pinellas County school district has taken a first look at first-year teachers in struggling schools and minority hiring, both of which ticked slightly upward.
  2. Editorial: Trump owes apology to fallen soldier's Miami family


    There is no more sacred, solemn role for a president than to comfort grieving family members of soldiers who have given their lives in service of their country. Those calls cannot be easy, and some presidents are better at it than others. Yet President Donald Trump and his administration continue to engage in a …

  3. Lightning: Jon Cooper takes unusual tact to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and ... whom else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. Hillsborough teachers get a hard no on scheduled pay raises


    The Hillsborough County School District cannot afford to advance teachers to their next year's pay levels, employee relations manager Mark West told the union at Monday afternoon's bargaining session.

    This might be the last teacher bargaining session in Hillsborough for awhile. Although the two sides are not officially at an impasse, the district says it cannot pay teachers their scheduled raises.
  5. Editorial: A neighborhood under attack unites


    Three murders in two weeks understandably have Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood on edge. But Tampa police and residents are working together to find the killer and are connecting in ways that will strengthen the community in the long run. This is the best reaction to the tragedy of the three deaths, and it should …

    Seminole Heights residents came together in a candlelight vigil Sunday night to pay respect to the families and to demonstrate that they will not be cowed into staying indoors.