Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lawyer questions why no arrest has been made in Hernando hit-and-run

Stanley Barnes, left, poses with his grandson Malachy and son, Vincent, who was killed on his bicycle in a hit-and-run in April.

Courtesy of the Barnes family

Stanley Barnes, left, poses with his grandson Malachy and son, Vincent, who was killed on his bicycle in a hit-and-run in April.

BROOKSVILLE — On a warm Sunday in April, Vincent Barnes lay bleeding on the side of U.S. 19. His bicycle was twisted and gnarled and smashed into pieces around him. A tire track was stamped across the phrase "God's Word" on the front cover of the Bible he had carried.

A man in a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup, witnesses say, had just run him over, sped away and left the 28-year-old to die.

Tampa lawyer J. Steele Olmstead believes he knows who the man in the truck was.

In a letter mailed this week to the Florida Highway Patrol, Olmstead identified his suspect and offered evidence he believed would help investigators solve the crime. Olmstead represents Barnes' ex-wife, who is now raising the couple's young son alone.

The alleged killer, according to Florida Department of Motor Vehicles documents, owns two Silverados, one of which is black. A relative, records show, also owns two, one of which is black.

In his letter, Olmstead asked what troopers had done to locate the vehicle that killed Barnes and if the trucks he pointed out had been investigated.

"This is a significant incident," Olmstead wrote. "It was a senseless murder of a cyclist in broad daylight, with eyewitnesses (and) physical evidence from the murder vehicle; the killer has not been charged, and a little boy is fatherless.

"It also appears," he added later, "there are steps that can be made which may have not been made."

Olmstead sent the letter Thursday, so Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins could not comment on its contents. He also couldn't address details of the case but said troopers are still actively investigating the incident.

At the time of the crash, authorities believed the driver was a white man and that the truck had after-market rims and a hard-shell bed cover.

The man Olmstead named — whom the Times is not identifying because no one has been charged in Barnes' death — has a checkered driving history.

After a Citrus County incident a few years ago, he was convicted of leaving the scene of a crash where a death had occurred.

He received a two-year prison sentence.

In the last 10 years, he has been arrested seven times. That includes two DUI charges and several other traffic offenses.

At the time of his death, Barnes was living in a tent to save money to buy a house.

"Vinny," to all who knew him, never parted with his Bible. As he did on the day he died, Barnes packed it with him on his 40-minute bike ride to work at Texas Roadhouse on Cortez Boulevard, where he washed dishes.

Co-workers said he took pride in his work.

He was named the restaurant's employee of the month just weeks before he was killed.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or jcox@sptimes.com.

Lawyer questions why no arrest has been made in Hernando hit-and-run 10/14/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 14, 2011 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. UF denies white supremacist Richard Spencer's request to speak on campus

    College

    Citing serious safety concerns, the University of Florida has denied Richard Spencer's application to speak on campus next month.

  2. MoviePass now offers unlimited movie watching in theaters for $10 a month, here's what you need to know

    Blogs

    There's now a service that says it will let you watch as many movies as you want for one monthly price: MoviePass. 

    MoviePass will let customers see up to one movie, every day, for $10 a month.
  3. Former Florida prison guards in KKK convicted of plotting to kill a black inmate

    Criminal

    Two former prison guards in Florida who were members of the Ku Klux Klan have been convicted of plotting to kill a black inmate in retaliation for a scuffle with another guard who also belonged to the hate group.

    A jury in Columbia County found David Elliot Moran, left, and Charles Thomas Newcomb guilty of conspiracy to commit first degree murder after they were caught discussing their plans to kill a black inmate in retaliation for a scuffle with another guard who, like them, belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. [Alachua County Jail via AP (2015)]
  4. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston throws during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  5. Daniel Ruth: Duck & Cover? Fix a drink, instead, if a nuclear bomb ever threatens

    Columns

    I am a child of the "Duck & Cover" generation.

    Threats of thermonuclear attack bring to mind the safety advice that school children received during the Cold War, driven in part by an arms race that included the first test of a hydrogen bomb. "Ivy Mike," pictured here, was  set off in 1952 on the Enewetak atoll in the Pacific Ocean. [Los Alamos National Laboratory via The New York Times]