Kevin Barnes: 35-year-old prison inmate beats cellmate to death for being 'gay' and ‘smelling bad'

Kevin Barnes: 35-year-old prison inmate beats cellmate to death for being 'gay' and ‘smelling bad'
Kevin Barnes beats cellmate to death for being 'gay' (Broward County)

BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: Kevin Barnes, an inmate accused of fatally beating his cellmate in a Florida jail, allegedly due to the victim's sexual orientation and hygiene habits, is now facing new charges.

An investigation has been initiated into the actions of deputies, who reportedly waited 20 minutes to respond to the recorded altercation, according to Law and Crime.

Barnes, aged 35, is facing accusations in the fatal beating that occurred on December 16 of 29-year-old Janard Geffrard at the Broward County Jail.

'To be beaten for over 21 minutes without anyone coming to intervene is appalling'

Geffrard’s mother, Marcia Irving, was hurt, shocked, and baffled by the circumstances of her son’s death. She said, “We just want to know what happened,” as per Miami Fox affiliate WSVN

Josiah Graham, the family's attorney, expressed concern, stating, "How did they let him down like that?" In an email to Law & Crime, Graham mentioned that the family plans to file a lawsuit "if the county doesn't do the right thing by compensating Janard's 10-year-old son for this tragic loss."

He emphasized that the case represents an "unbelievable tragedy" that could have been prevented.

He added, “To be mercilessly beaten for over 21 minutes without anyone coming to intervene is appalling. We will do everything in our power to get answers for the family and ensure that something like this can never happen again.”

Geffrard, who was found unfit to stand trial, was incarcerated for an alleged burglary when the fatal incident took place. At the time, he was awaiting a placement decision that could have resulted in his transfer.

Why did Barnes beat Geffrard?

An arrest report details the allegations and statements attributed to Barnes explaining why he committed the offense. Deputies were called to the seventh-floor Bravo unit 3 on December 16 at 4:24 pm in response to an unresponsive inmate.

While making rounds in cell 3, a constable discovered the subject unconscious and with cuts around his lips on the ground.

According to the report, his cellmate Kevin Barnes was taken into custody and kept out of the cell while an inquiry was conducted.

In critical condition, the victim was transferred to Broward General Hospital. He sustained pulmonary bruises, a fractured sternum, and a shattered left rib. After being placed on a ventilator, he didn't wake up until he died on December 26.

“It should be noted at no point did Barnes attempt to notify deputies of the victim’s condition or attempt to get the victim medical assistance in the almost 20 minutes that elapsed after he choked the victim,” the report said.

At the jail, hours later, Barnes reportedly confessed. "Barnes explained that he did not agree with his lifestyle because he was 'gay,' and that upset him," stated the report.

Additionally, it mentioned, "Barnes admitted that he placed him in a chokehold and later kicked him to see if he was alive."

The report added, "Barnes stated that he was upset because he smelled and never cleaned himself."

He allegedly informed investigators that he insulted his cellmate by waking him up in the afternoon and instructing him to clean up and brush his teeth. Subsequently, agitated, he got to his feet.

According to the investigation, Barnes claimed that he then "turned up," which involved hitting and beating the victim. He stated that he realized he "may and could take his life" while assaulting and strangling the victim.

"At that moment, he chose to 'spare his life,'" the report stated. When informed that Geffrard was in critical condition with fractured ribs, Barnes allegedly responded, "he got what he deserved."

Barnes was arrested on charges of attempted murder and evidencing prejudice while committing the offense, as he admitted that he committed the crime in part because the victim was "gay."

Furthermore, Barnes is scheduled for a competency placement court hearing on January 30.

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