Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Confederacy loses again, this time in court

    News

    TAMPA — While the Hillsborough County commission was wrestling over the future of Confederate monument at the county courthouse, a lawsuit has been playing out in court over how best to represent the Civil War across town at Veterans Memorial Park.

    Supporters of a Civil War display at Veterans Memorial Park and Museum had a brochure made to attract donations. They argue in a lawsuit that their efforts were thwarted when the park's executive committee changed their plans.
  2. Iconic Ballet Nacional de Cuba ballet will perform at Straz in May

    News

    Besides fine tobacco, Ballet Nacional de Cuba is considered by many to be the island nation's most distinctive export.

    Ballet Nacional de Cuba, one of the world's premiere ballet companies, will perform at the Straz Center in May.

 [Courtesy of Carlos Quezada]
  3. I-275 south closed in St. Pete heading towards Sunshine Skyway

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — All southbound lanes of Interstate 275 on the southern tip of Pinellas County were closed Wednesday afternoon due to a traffic crash with injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  4. Bucs-Jaguars: Five things to watch Thursday in Jacksonville

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs have their second preseason game here Friday against the Jaguars, and here are five things to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay moves closer to paring its roster from 90 players to 53 by Sept. 3.

    1. AVOIDING BIG PLAYS ON DEFENSE

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Former Rep. Corrine Brown denied new trial; to be sentenced in November

    Blogs

    JACKSONVILLE (AP)—A federal judge has denied a request for a new trial by former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who was found guilty of taking money from a sham charity that was purported to be aiding poor students.

    Corrine Brown