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Barnes enters plea
In shooting of Bassett man

Thursday, September 26, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

A Fieldale man pleaded no contest Wednesday to an amended charge of second-degree murder in the March 29 shooting death of William Bradley “Brad” Doss.

Doss, 28, of 2560 Blackberry Road, Bassett, suffered a single gunshot wound to his upper left chest, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dawn Futtrell said Wednesday when summarizing the evidence against Marcus Barnes, 34, of Mitchell Farm Road.

Barnes, who initially was charged with first-degree murder, also pleaded no contest to use of a firearm in commission of a felony in connection with Doss’ death.

Henry County Circuit Court Judge David Williams asked Barnes if he knew that the effect of his no contest plea was the same as a guilty plea.

Barnes said, “yes sir.”

Barnes’ remaining two charges — possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and misdemeanor possess marijuana — were dismissed Wednesday in Henry County Circuit Court.

The shooting occurred on Blackberry Road in Bassett across from B&B Trucking, but another incident happened the day before, Futtrell said.

On March 28, Barnes was at the Econo Lodge in Henry County. While he was there, Doss also came to the hotel, she said.

“There was an altercation” and Barnes “was seriously injured,” Futtrell said. She did not discuss his injuries, but noted that he first was treated at the local hospital and then air-lifted to Roanoke.

During Barnes’ treatment and the investigation, cocaine and other items of contraband were found in his bag, Futtrell said.

She said Barnes also told a Martinsville Police Officer that Doss attacked him, but that Barnes would “handle it himself,” Futtrell said. Barnes also told police that if there was any contraband in the bag, Doss would have put it there, she said.

The next day, Barnes’ girlfriend drove down Blackberry Road, parked at the trucking company and let Barnes out, Futtrell said. Barnes, Doss and other Doss family members faced each other across what Futtrell described as a cattle gate.

The three men later were identified in lower court as Brad Doss, his brother Brent Doss and their father, who was not identified by name.

An argument ensued, and after Brad Doss allegedly tried to hit Barnes, witnesses testified in lower court that Barnes took out a small caliber handgun and pulled the trigger, Futtrell said. The firearm did not discharge and eventually, Barnes retreated to the vehicle driven by his girlfriend.

Doss and his brother threw rocks and pieces of tar that pulled loose from the road in the direction of Barnes and the car, and then jumped the gate and gave chase, according to testimony in lower court and Futtrell.

Barnes then leaned over the top of the car and fired one shot, Futtrell said. Doss “fell in the driveway. He got up and fell down again,” she said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. A knife and brass knuckles were found near his body at the scene, she said.

An autopsy showed that Doss was shot once. The bullet penetrated both of his lungs, Futtrell said. The medical examiner recovered a small bullet, consistent with a small caliber handgun, she added.

Barnes’ girlfriend’s car was impounded later and searched. Investigators recovered a .22 caliber RG pistol and a box of .22 caliber bullets from a Crown Royal bag. Only one bullet was missing, and Futtrell said it would match the slug recovered from Doss.

Barnes’ attorney, Roscoe Reynolds, said his client did not instigate the altercation at the hotel. Also, before going to Doss’ home, Barnes received a phone call from Doss, Reynolds said. Doss allegedly told Barnes that “he (Doss) knew he’d done wrong.”

Barnes “followed directions” when going to the Doss home because he did not know where it was before the phone call, Reynolds said.

Also, most members of the Doss family were outside at the time Barnes arrived, Reynolds said. When Barnes retreated, he “was pursued by the Doss” brothers, Reynolds said. “One went to the front and one went to the rear of the vehicle.”

Doss also was a convicted felon and had cocaine in his body at the time of his autopsy, Reynolds said.

Sentencing is set for 2 p.m. Dec. 4. According to Judge Williams, Barnes could face a maximum of 40 years on the second-degree murder charge and a three year mandatory minimum senetence for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.


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