Man Sentenced for Slaying Deputy

Man Sentenced for Slaying Deputy

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RICHFIELD, Utah (AP) -- An Escalante man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Garfield County sheriff's Deputy David C. Jones.

Earl Leston Barnes, 53, cried as he apologized in court Wednesday to the Jones family and his own relatives.

Judge K.L. McIff imposed the sentence and also ordered Barnes to pay $8,888.69 in restitution for the funeral expenses.

"I wish this had never happened," Barnes said. "I would like to apologize to Mr. Jones' family and to my family. I am sorry. I wish that someday they would forgive me."

Jones' wife, Carolyn, said she knows she should forgive Barnes, but she can't do it yet.

"I am trying to turn the other cheek and forgive those who hurt us," she said. "I give my love to your mother, for she has lost one of her own also."

Barnes was charged with aggravated murder, which carries a potential death penalty. He pleaded guilty in a plea bargain that included his agreement to testify against another man accused in the slaying.

William Byron Allred, 51, Escalante, has pleaded innocent to aggravated robbery, aggravated escape, obstruction of justice and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Authorities said that on Jan. 26, five miles south of Escalante, Jones pulled over a truck driven by Allred on suspicion of driving under the influence.

After Jones had handcuffed Allred, Barnes shot and killed Jones, the charges alleged. Before he died, Jones shot Barnes in the lung.

The aggravated robbery charge stemmed from allegations that Allred and Barnes cooperated to take the handcuff keys from the slain deputy.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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