By Teresa Barbian
A twelve member jury, consisting of five women and seven men, took a little over two hours to return a verdict of Not Guilty in the case of Barry Lee Bailey, Jr. Bailey was charged with 1st Degree Murder in the shooting death of Jesse Arms. The shooting took place in Stamford on Mother’s Day 2016 at the home of Arms. A 911 operator dispatched Stamford PD at 1:41 am. Several witnesses indicated that “Barry did it”, but confusion as to which Barry the witnesses were referring to surfaced in the defense’s case. Prior to the shooting, the victim had a physical altercation with Barry Eugene Bailey, Sr. and a video that was taken of this fight was posted online by the girlfriend of Jacob Simon, the victim’s brother. Prosecution witness Rudy Sanchez testified that the victim thought that Bailey Sr. would be back with others to retaliate.
Stamford Chief of Police Darwin Huston testified during the four day trial that mistakes were made in collecting gunshot residue from the defendant and that the evidence was ultimately contaminated and could not be used to prove that the defendant had recently shot a firearm. But prosecution witness Anne Koettel from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office testified that gunshot residue can be washed off with just water. Defense attorney David M. Stiller from Spring, TX questioned another Stamford PD officer on why the crime scene was not cordoned off. The officer on the stand responded, “It was a mistake on my part,” for not roping off the scene. Each prosecution witness from the scene testified to hearing a different number of gunshots, but Stamford PD did not find a gun, shell casings, or other evidence at the scene. The body camera from the first officer on scene was played in the courtroom. In this footage, voices could be heard shouting, “Sr. did it” and “It was Barry”.
Prosecution witness Rudy Sanchez testified that he heard Bailey, Jr. ask, “Why you (expletive) up my pops?” Another prosecution witness admitted on the stand that he had been smoking a “blunt” before the shooting. Other witnesses testified that there were no drugs or alcohol present at the home before the shooting. The victim’s wife testified that she did not see any faces when she walked outside just before the shooting, she only saw shadows. She testified that the shorter shadow was holding a gun in his right hand. This witness also could not identify the defendant in the courtroom because she didn’t know what he looked like. Video from the surveillance cameras at City Hall was introduced and showed two individuals running a short distance from the crime scene. Although no faces could be seen from the black and white footage, Chief Huston testified that he could tell it was Bailey, Jr. who was running past the camera. He stated that he had played basketball with Bailey, Jr. and knew what he looked like running.
Bailey, Jr. testified on his own behalf and told the courtroom that he was with his common-law wife asleep at home when the shooting took place. Veronique Titus, Bailey’s common-law wife, testified that she was lying right next to a sleeping Bailey, Jr. just before she fell asleep around 1 am. Both this witness and Bailey, Jr. testified that Bailey was injured at work about five years ago and dislocated both of his shoulders; medical records were brought into the courtroom showing that the defendant ultimately had surgery on his right shoulder. He testified that he still has pain in both shoulders and that he cannot run anymore. He also testified that the last time he played basketball with Chief Huston was about eight years ago. The defendant also testified that he is left-handed, but in cross examination, the prosecutor suggested that since he had surgery on his right shoulder that the right arm was now stronger than his left.
In the end, the prosecution did not meet their burden of proof as the jury came back with a Not Guilty verdict. Both sides of the courtroom erupted in sobs when the verdict was read. The family members of the victim were visibly and understandably angered and upset by the verdict and were led out of the courtroom in screams of agony. The defendant laid his head on the table and quietly wept and shook when the verdict was read. The muffled cries and embracing hugs from his family and attorney camouflaged their tears of relief. The lives of all who were involved have been forever changed, and the tragedy of a life lost will stain their hearts forever.