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Slaying details aired
Witnesses describe shooting
Friday, May 10, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The details varied depending on the line of sight, but three eyewitnesses testified Thursday that they saw the shooting death of William Bradley “Brad” Doss on March 29.
Marcus Barnes, 34, of 420 Mitchell Farm Road, Fieldale, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting that occurred in the 2500 block of Blackberry Road, Bassett, across from B&B Trucking.
Doss, 28, of 2560 Blackberry Road, Bassett, suffered a single gunshot wound to his upper left chest, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Raines, who was among those testifying Thursday at Barnes’ preliminary hearing.
Barnes also is charged with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the incident.
After hearing the testimony, General District Court Judge Frank Greenwalt found probable cause in the case, and sent it to circuit court. Grand jurors are slated to hear the case on July 15.
Barnes is being held without bond.
Margie Price Savage was the first witness called to testify in the case prosecuted by Henry County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dawn Futtrell.
Savage said she was returning from a visit with her mother in Bassett and traveling on Blackberry Road when she came up behind a stopped vehicle that was blocking the road. The passenger side door was open.
A man Savage later identified as Barnes was across the road, near the locked gate of a fence surrounding a home. Three other men — two younger and one older — were inside the gate. The man outside the gate was shaking it, she testified.
The three men later were identified as Brad Doss, his brother Brent Doss and their father, who was not identified in court by name.
Savage said she did not hear the conversation between the men, but she assumed the exchange was “serious, very intense” because she blew her horn to try and get the vehicle to move but it “didn’t phase anyone.”
Later, the man outside the gate turned to go back to his vehicle, but then engaged in more conversation before turning to leave a second time, Savage testified. It appeared that rocks were being thrown, and it “seemed like one” rock hit the man who was headed to the vehicle, Savage said. “He picked up something and threw it back” and continued to the passenger side of the stopped vehicle, she said.
Savage said she then saw “a small gun. ... It was so quick. ... I did see the gun, but not where it came from. ... It didn’t even look like a real gun. ... It didn’t even sound like a gun when” a shot was fired. It sounded like a “pop,” she said. Then she noticed that Brad Doss “was about to fall over, and it appeared to me that something was coming out of his mouth.”
Brent Doss, who is being held on charges of third offense larceny and failure to appear, entered the court room in handcuffs and shackles and wearing an orange inmate suit. He testified that his brother had confided in him that he and others had been at a hotel with the man outside the gate “getting high” on the day before the shooting and an altercation occurred.
Barnes’ defense attorney, Roscoe Reynolds, said Barnes needed medical treatment because of an injury he had received during an altercation. Additional details were not presented.
Doss said the man outside the gate wanted his brother to pay for some drugs that went missing while the man was gone to undergo medical treatment.
After seeing the car stopped on Blackberry Road on March 29, “I told Brad, ‘if he don’t take care of it, I will,’” Brent Doss testified.
During the exchange at the gate, Doss said the man “leaned over ... and pulled the trigger two or three times” on a weapon that he described as being chrome. “Nothing happened” when the trigger was pulled, Doss added.
When the man turned to go back to the car, Brad Doss followed, according to Brent Doss, who said he jumped the fence to give chase as well.
The gun “went off two more times. Nothing happened” either time, Brent Doss said. By then, the man was at the passenger side door of the stopped vehicle. “My brother said, ‘Get him.’ I ran around behind the car,” Brent Doss testified. It was then that Brent Doss said his brother was shot.
“I watched my brother die,” he said, and began sobbing in court, as did many in the gallery.
William Meese, the third witness called by Futtrell, said he was traveling in the opposite direction as Savage on Blackberry Road and also had to stop his vehicle because the road was blocked. To his left, Meese said he saw men “scuffling” in a hands-on exchange that he thought would break up without intervention.
One man brandished a firearm, which Meese described as a .22 or .25 caliber weapon. “I thought I saw his wrist go like this,” Meese said, demonstrating how the wrist may move when a weapon is fired, “but I never heard a shot.”
After that, Meese said two men inside the gate backed up and “laid low” until the man started back to the vehicle blocking the road.
After coming through the gate or over the fence, Brad Doss was standing in the road near the front driver’s side of the vehicle, and Brent Doss ran to the back of the stopped vehicle, he said. A man leaned over the top of the vehicle and fired a shot, according to Meese.
Brad Doss then grabbed his chest and with “blood coming out of his mouth, he stumbled a few steps back and fell in the driveway,” according to Meese, who went to help.
Brad Doss “never regained consciousness,” Meese said. “His eyes would almost focus, then they’d roll back very quickly. There was a lot of blood. A lot of blood.”
Sgt. Raines said the vehicle was found later at a business on Virginia 57, confiscated and searched. A .22 caliber RG pistol and a box of .22 caliber bullets were found in a Crown Royal bag under the driver’s side seat.
“Only one bullet was missing from the box,” Raines said.
Also on Thursday in an unrelated matter, Greenwalt found Barnes guilty of a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail on that charge and his driver’s license was revoked for six months.