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Alleged Serial Burglar Indicted on Multiple Charges in Carrollton Ridge Neighborhood

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State's Attorney Ivan J. Bates announced the indictment of James Barnett, a 54-year-old individual, on 20 counts related to a series of burglaries that took place in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood in January and February of 2022. The charges against Barnett include first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary, attempted burglary, theft, and attempted theft. The announcement clarified that an indictment does not equate to a finding of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

State's Attorney Ivan J. Bates expressed concern over the alleged break-ins. If proven, they reveal a troubling pattern of disregard for personal property by the defendant. Bates emphasized his commitment to holding repeat offenders accountable and delivering justice to the residents of the city.

Quoted below are the attorneys from Miller Stern Lawyers LLC for the families of the fallen firefighters -

“This indictment is one step in the criminal judicial process and part of an ongoing investigation into all of the events that occurred on January 24, 2022. The public has been informed that there is a person of interest related to the 205 S. Stricker Street fire that killed Lt. Paul Butrim, Acting Lieutenant Kelsey Sadler, Firefighter/Paramedic Kenny Lacayo, and injured Firefighter John McMaster.

From the information that has been shared with us by the States Attorney’s office, along with the information we have gathered from the various agency investigations, including videos and detailed timelines of events, we believe based on the totality of the evidence that this individual is more than likely the same person.

There is a correct legal process and right way of conducting investigations and pursuing justice and we believe that this process is proceeding and ongoing and we are all moving in the same direction and to reach the same end result. At the end of the day, there needs to be accountability for this horrific tragic and deadly fire that occurred at 205 South Stricker street and we will not stop until that day comes.”

The indictment against James Barnett reflects the progress made in the ongoing investigation, with law enforcement diligently working to identify the alleged serial burglar and build a case against him.

Read the full Press Release here.

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