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Pasco gang member gets back-to-back life sentences for murders

James Barron, seen Friday with attorney Bjorn Brunvand, pleaded guilty so the state wouldn’t seek the death penalty.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

James Barron, seen Friday with attorney Bjorn Brunvand, pleaded guilty so the state wouldn’t seek the death penalty.

NEW PORT RICHEY — A Holiday gang member received back-to-back life sentences when he pleaded guilty Friday to murdering two men.

James "Pimpin" Barron, 24, pleaded guilty to killing Bloods gang member Kamar Allen on Aug. 21, 2011, and Cedric Saunders on Dec. 9, 2011, in what authorities described as a drug deal gone bad. Barron also pleaded guilty to solicitation of murder in a separate case.

Family and friends of the men murdered watched as Circuit Judge William Webb delivered the sentences. Saunders' grandfather, Kalomo Kamu, stood and spoke to Barron when it was done.

Kamu looked Barron in the eye as he told him he had devastated two families, all without any indication of remorse or empathy.

"You got a hard road ahead," Kamu said.

Prosecutor Chris Sprowls said Barron agreed to plead guilty on the condition the state wouldn't seek the death penalty for Allen's murder.

About a week after Allen died, Barron was arrested on multiple cocaine-related charges. While he was in custody, deputies searched his home and found blood-spattered keys that matched the Kia Rio in which Saunders' body was found.

Deputies said Barron shot and killed Saunders after he met him to buy cocaine. Barron told a witness in the case he shot Saunders four times and cleared the scene of evidence, authorities say.

While Barron was in jail, he was also charged with Allen's murder. Deputies said Barron suspected Allen of stealing money from his mother and confronted him. They later went together to an open field in Holiday where Barron shot Allen, leaving him in a ditch.

The solicitation to murder charge came after authorities say Barron asked for a fellow gang member to murder a witness in both cases, through a letter to his mother while he was in jail awaiting trial on the other two murders.

Pasco gang member gets back-to-back life sentences for murders 05/30/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 30, 2014 9:41pm]

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