Shooter gets 26 to 60 years for woman’s death

Carolyn Barr, the accidental victim of the fatal shooting on Brandon Avenue over two years ago, was a beloved member of the neighborhood she died in, according to statements during the shooter’s sentencing hearing Tuesday. Knowledge Dante Frierson, 24, was sentenced to serve 26 to 60 years in a state prison for pulling the trigger.

A jury found Frierson guilty last November of third-degree homicide, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence and three firearms charges for illegally possessing the revolver and firing the shot that killed Barr outside of 421 Brandon Ave. on Oct. 13, 2015.

Frierson was acquitted of attempted homicide, robbery and first- and second-degree homicide. Although Tuesday’s sentence was significant and above the standard range for the charge, Frierson dodged a life sentence associated with first-degree homicide.

Testimony during the three-day trial in November depicted a firefight that resulted in Barr being shot and killed as an accidental victim.

Frierson knocked on the door of 421 Brandon Ave. twice the night of the murder, asking for someone Keith Freeman Jr., Barr’s nephew, didn’t know. Freeman was living in the home with four children.

With a steady flow of cash from drug sales and high stakes poker games, Freeman testified that he was worried about a potential robbery.

Alarmed by a stranger at his door, Freeman called Barr to pick his girlfriend up from work so he didn’t have to leave the kids alone.

While walking Barr out of the home, Freeman said Frierson lunged at him. While the two were fighting, a bullet was fired, hitting and killing Barr.

Frierson, too, was hit by a bullet in the exchange of gunfire that followed as Freeman and Frierson walked down opposite sides of the street, firing at each other. Police found Frierson in an alley down the street.

Robert A. Hoffa, Frierson’s attorney, said he believed Frierson was a good kid who was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Hoffa argued that the standard 16 years for the third-degree homicide charge was enough given the circumstances.

“I know it’s rare,” Hoffa said. “But some of the responsibility also lays on Keith Freeman.”

Frierson apologized to Barr’s family in court Tuesday. “I know forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight,” he said.

Lisa Skinner, Barr’s younger sister, said she forgave Frierson so she can move on from the incident.

“But I watched you sit here the whole trial with smirks and smiles,” Skinner said. “My sister was a nice and wonderful lady who should have never got caught up with that.”

While interviewing people in the neighborhood preparing for the case, Assistant District Attorney A. Melissa Kalaus said Barr was an adored member of the community.

“Every single person (in the neighborhood) loved and revered that woman,” Kalaus said. “It was appalling the way the defendant reacted during his trial.”

Kalaus, who was asking for a heavier sentence, went into specifics about the case, arguing that Frierson didn’t show any remorse for what happened and only was sorry that he was arrested.

The fact that Frierson fired rounds down Brandon Avenue at Freeman with people nearby also showed a serious lack of consideration for others, Kalaus said.