Murder suspect pleads guilty just before trial starts

Local News

A Fort Wayne man who initially admitted to shooting a man and asked to plead guilty for killing him has now formally done so in a courtroom, on the day he was to stand trial for murder.

DeeDee W. Barnett, 38, of Fort Wayne pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday, moments before he was set to stand trail in Allen Superior Court for the shooting death of 31-year-old Brian Anthony Lowe, Jr. of Fort Wayne on Oct. 25, 2017.

It was around 11:30 a.m. that day when police and medics were called to the intersection of State Boulevard and Spy Run Avenue on a report of a shooting. There, responders found a black and orange Scion with Lowe inside, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Lowe was taken to a hospital in extremely critical condition, and died two days later.

The driver of the Scion told police at the scene the shooting happened along Lake Avenue near downtown Fort Wayne. There, he said a man with a bushy beard walked up to his car and shot Lowe as he was getting into the car. The man then walked down the alley, he said.

According to the affidavit, Barnett lived at an apartment next to where the shooting happened. As police were investigating, they learned that Barnett had been driven to a home in the 5600 block of Winter Street.

There, Barnett was taken into custody. Inside the home, police found a .380-caliber handgun, the affidavit said.

In an interview with police, Barnett said “You got me,” and explained that he and Lowe had “gotten into it” earlier Wednesday and Lowe was swinging a bat around the front yard, the affidavit said. Barnett said Lowe had “caused chaos in the neighborhood” and “yelled at people.”

Barnett said after he’d gotten into it with Lowe, he approached him as he was getting into a vehicle and shot him. Barnett said he’d found the gun earlier in the summer and had ammunition in his apartment, the affidavit said.

As he was being taken to the Allen County Jail, Barnett reportedly told transport officers, “Can I just plead guilty in the morning?”

Just over 10 months later, Barnett did just that.

Barnett will be sentenced at a later date. He faces up to 65 years in prison, according to Indiana Code sentencing guidelines.

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