Justice Served: Life Sentence for Man That Killed Business Owner in Magnolia During Robbery

Justice Served: Life Sentence for Man That Killed Business Owner in Magnolia During Robbery
James Louis Barnes Jr

In a decision on Friday, November 17, 2023, James Barnes, Jr. was convicted of Capital Murder in the State of Texas v. Barnes. The trial, held in the 359th District Court with Judge Kathleen Hamilton presiding, saw Chief Prosecutors Joel Daniels and Laura Bond leading the case.

The charges stemmed from Barnes’ involvement in an attempted aggravated robbery in Waller County, followed by a fatal taco stand robbery in Magnolia on Monday, November 13, 2023. During the latter incident, Barnes took the life of Mr. Miguel Flores, one of the business owners, while Mrs. Flores narrowly escaped harm during a struggle.

Barnes, attempting to evade authorities, was stopped for speeding by a diligent sergeant from the Magnolia Police Department shortly after the murder. A subsequent search uncovered shell casings linking him to the crime scene and clothing associated with the earlier attempted robbery. DNA evidence, including Mr. Flores’ DNA, was discovered on the suspect’s belongings.

The trial included emotional testimony from the surviving victim and statements from various witnesses, including ballistics and DNA experts. Following a brief deliberation, the jury found Barnes guilty of Capital Murder. Judge Hamilton handed down an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Chief Prosecutor Joel Daniels remarked, “With his actions, Mr. Barnes unleashed violence and chaos in our community, killing an innocent, good, hardworking father and husband for no reason at all. This level of depravity warrants the extreme sanction of life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

Chief Prosecutor Laura Bond added, “This defendant got the justice he deserves because of the sheer grit and determination of the surviving victim to identify the defendant combined with the proactive, collaborative, and thorough investigation by law enforcement.”

District Attorney Brett Ligon concluded, “Barnes has squandered away his life by robbing and killing innocent people. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole which is fitting. He took his last breath as a free man when he took the last breath of Mr. Flores.” The successful prosecution was attributed to the swift and collaborative efforts of the Magnolia Police Department, Waller County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.