Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police identify suspect in 2008 slaying of truck driver

TAMPA — Three years after her husband was fatally shot inside his semitrailer truck, Gloria Lee says she was shocked to learn the police have identified a suspect.

"I didn't think we'd ever know," said Lee, of Nicholls, Ga.

About 4 a.m. Feb. 22, 2008, Roger Lee, 65, waited in his truck for a Clorox manufacturing plant in Tampa to open. He sat in the sleeper cab working on a model airplane, officers say.

Then, Cedric Jermaine Barnes, 28, of Tampa, opened the driver's side door, demanded Lee's wallet and shot him once in the chest, Tampa police say.

Lee was able to climb out of the truck but died soon after.

Barnes has been charged with murder, attempted armed robbery with a firearm and armed burglary. He is currently in state prison on unrelated charges.

Police say an unidentified associate of Barnes told them that Barnes shot Lee after becoming angry that he had only $15 in his wallet.

When police made it to the scene of the crime, the wallet had been left open. Three years later, the wallet provided the breakthrough that would put authorities back on the trail.

Earlier this year, after officers resubmitted fingerprints, they came up with a match.

Investigators regularly resubmit fingerprints, in part, because the database expands when arrests are made.

"We are used to seeing crimes solved in an hour on TV, but that isn't the real-life scenario," police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.

Gloria Lee praised Tampa police Detective Eric Houston, who resubmitted the fingerprints. "They've really been great," she said. "Detective Houston has been fantastic."

She described her husband, who loved model airplanes and had a pilot's license, as a great father and husband.

"He had no enemies. He was a good person. He loved life," she said.

About his death, she said, "It's just one of these situations: It happens to somebody else, but it doesn't happen to you."

News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Eric P. Newcomer can be reached at

Tampa police identify suspect in 2008 slaying of truck driver 06/20/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 20, 2011 11:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane


    AUTAUGAVILLE, Ala. —The screen door hangs open to Laura's Country Kitchen but the dining room is empty with no one to feed.

  2. St. Pete Pride schedule and live blog

    Special Topics

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue …

  3.   Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.
  4. Rick vs. Rick: St. Petersburg sewage crisis edition


    ST. PETERSBURG — For nearly two years, the political stench of a sewage crisis has permeated City Hall.

    Rick vs. Rick are battling to become St. Petersburg mayor. Former mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right.