MILWAUKEE (AP) — A man accused of firing into a Milwaukee home and killing a 13-year-old girl in her living room abruptly pleaded guilty Tuesday as the second day of testimony at his trial began.
Isaac Barnes, 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide, possession of a firearm by a felon and endangering safety by reckless use of a firearm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped a charge of witness intimidation.
Assistant District Attorney Hanna Kolberg said prosecutors will recommend prison time but leave the sentence up to the judge. Sentencing is set for Aug. 23.
Barnes was accused of killing Sandra Parks last November. Prosecutors said Barnes’ ex-girlfriend may have been the target of the attack.
After his ex-girlfriend took the stand, Barnes said in court he no longer wanted a trial.
“I will take the plea, man, if it’s a plea,” Barnes said. “I just don’t want her on the stand. … I don’t want her to go through that.”
Barnes said he would plead guilty if he would get the opportunity to explain himself. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Mark Sanders said Barnes could provide statements at his sentencing.
Barnes said he wants Sandra’s family to know the purpose and motive for the shooting.
“That’s the only way I will admit to what I did,” Barnes said. “I just don’t want them to go home just thinking it just happened.”
Sandra’s mother, Bernice Parks, said she will ask that Barnes get the maximum sentence, which would put him in prison for 85 years.
Just two years earlier, Sandra had taken third place in a citywide competition with her essay commemorating the life of Martin Luther King.
Sandra wrote of seeing “examples of chaos almost every day” and lamented “little children” who were victims of “senseless gun violence.”