BOSTON, June 18, 2013—Two men were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole today following their convictions for the 2011 murder of 25-year-old Derrick Barnes, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
FREDERICK HENDERSON (D.O.B. 11/25/83) and FRANKIE HERNDON (D.O.B. 4/9/84) were convicted Friday of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm for shooting Barnes to death on Fayston Street on the night of Aug. 27, 2011. Today, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Patrick Brady imposed the mandatory punishment for that offense.
“This was not an easy case to prove, but it was an important one,” Conley said. “These two defendants were driving forces in Boston’s gang violence and committed a cold-blooded murder in front of multiple witnesses. There’s no replacing what Mr. Barnes’ family lost, but we hope they find some satisfaction that the men responsible for his death were held unequivocally accountable for their actions.”
Assistant District Attorney Joseph J. Janezic III, deputy chief of the DA’s Gang Unit, read from a pair of statements by Barnes’ kin prior to sentencing.
“Every day, my children, his niece and nephews, cry for their Uncle Derrick, wondering why this happened to him,” wrote Barnes’ brother. “I can’t begin to explain the effect that my brother’s death has had on me, but I would like to thank the ADA, the jury, and the judge for your help in bringing my brother’s killers to justice.”
The slain man’s 11-year-old son also submitted an impact statement ready by the trial prosecutor.
“When they killed my dad, it was hurtful because I didn’t get to see my dad a lot and I will never be able to see my dad again and because I don’t have anything in memory of my dad,” the boy wrote.
Barnes, a one-time Boston resident, had moved out of the area but was visiting family after the 2011 Caribbean Carnival. Janezic proved during two and a half weeks of trial that Barnes was standing on a porch with several other people just after 7:00 p.m. when the defendants approached from the sidewalk. A conversation began, which soon became a verbal altercation that ended when Henderson and Herndon pulled guns and opened fire. Barnes’ friends scattered; he was struck.
Janezic demonstrated that Henderson ran from the scene while Herndon calmly walked up to Barnes’ fallen body and fired again as the young man lay dying on the porch. Barnes was pronounced dead of his injuries at Boston Medical Center.
Herndon and Henderson were identified by people at the scene whose accounts were corroborated by surveillance images from nearby cameras. Henderson has been held without bail since his arrest in October 2011, while Herndon was apprehended the same month in North Carolina and was arraigned in Boston later.
Katherine Moran was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. The defendants were represented by attorneys Eliot Weinstein and John Tardiff.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.