Willie Barney Found Guilty of Attempted First-Degree Murder Without a Firearm, Robbery Without a Firearm

The verdict was announced Friday

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    Willie Barney in court.

    Willie Barney was found guilty of two charges, including attempted first-degree murder without a firearm, on Friday in connection with the shooting of an off-duty Miami-Dade Police officer during a robbery last year.

    Jurors said that Barney committed aggravated battery during the commission of the attempted murder.

    Opening Statements Begin in Miami-Dade Police Officer Shooting Trial

    [MI] Opening Statements Begin in Miami-Dade Police Officer Shooting Trial
    Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of Willie Barney, 19, who is accused of shooting an off-duty Miami-Dade Police officer during a robbery last year. Prosecutor Dawn Kulick, Detective Wislyn Joseph and defense attorney Robert Barrar spoke about the case. (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013)

    For the second count in the case, they found Barney guilty of robbery without a firearm.

    The verdict rendered was for lesser offenses than the charges the 19-year-old had faced, which alleged that he had a firearm, defense attorney Robert Barrar said. He said they will appeal within the next 30 days.

    Gold Spurred Crime Spree in Miami-Dade: Authorities

    [MI] Gold Spurred Crime Spree in Miami-Dade: Authorities
    Gold was a motivating factor behind a violent crime spree in Miami-Dade County, authorities said Thursday. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Willie Barney, Dedrick Brown and Travares Santiago were a three-man wrecking crew who attacked people for their gold jewelry. They committed five crimes, including last month's shooting of off-duty Miami-Dade Police Det. Wislyn Joseph, according to authorities. Police initially arrested the trio for the police shooting, and then connected them to the other jewelry robberies, they said. Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa also spoke about the case. (Published Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012)

    Barney was convicted in connection with the September 2012 shooting and robbery of Detective Wislyn Joseph. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat said he will be sentenced Monday.

    Police said that Barney, Dedrick Brown, 20, and Travares Santiago, 20, ambushed the detective at gunpoint and demanded his jewelry after he had finishing volunteering at Union Baptist Church at 6701 NW 7th Ave.

    Joseph testified Wednesday that he was defenseless, with his gun in his car, on the afternoon that Barney shot him. Barney shot Joseph point blank in the chest, police said.

    "The jury's verdict was a copout," Barrar said.

    The state's theory was that Barney shot Joseph, he said.

    "Obviously you can’t shoot somebody unless you have a gun. And the jury found that Willie Barney did not have a gun," Barrar said.

    Prosecutor Dawn Kulick explained that Barney could be found guilty of the attempted first-degree murder charge without being in possession of a firearm because he was charged under the principle theory, which groups him and his two codefendants together.

    Kulick said the prosecution had hoped that the jury would find that Barney was in possession of the firearm.

    Kulick said she thought the jury was a bit conflicted and made a compromise.

    "I think they sort of split the baby," she said.

    VIDEO: Defendants in Shooting of Miami-Dade Officer Appear in Bond Court

    Barrar argued earlier this week that it was a case of mistaken identity and that his client wasn’t even there.

    Barrar said Friday they will appeal the verdict, and said he is confident that Barney will get a new trial.

    Brown and Santiago, who are also charged in the incident, are awaiting trial.

    All three men are being held without bond.

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