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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Man pleads guilty to wedding-eve murder

BY RON SYLVESTER
The Wichita Eagle

Robert J. Reed will face between 16 and 66 years in prison when he faces sentencing next month for murder and burglary.

Reed, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as his trial was getting ready to begin this week in the May 2009 shooting death of Vincent Barnes.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, Reed entered a plea to the lesser charge Dec. 28 in Sedgwick County District Court.

As part of the plea, both sides agreed to have Reed's sentences run consecutively.

Reed is scheduled to return to court Feb. 8 for sentencing before Judge Greg Waller.

The night before his wedding, on May 15, 2009, Reed went out drinking with his brother Michael, and a friend, Jeremy Trout, witnesses have testified at earlier hearings.

The Reeds told their girlfriends they went to Barnes' apartment near Central and West Street looking for drugs. But no drugs were found in the apartment or on the Reeds, police said.

Barnes died after being shot in the stomach following a scuffle, witnesses said. Reed's fiancee said he admitted to her that he fired the deadly shot.

Trout, 22, pleaded guilty in September to second-degree murder and is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 12 before Judge Warren Wilbert.

Michael Reed, 28, is scheduled for trial March 14. He is charged with first-degree murder.

All three remain in the Sedgwick County Jail.

Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or rsylvester@wichitaeagle.com.

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