After spending a week in jail, Las Vegas murder suspect exonerated
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
It was a stunning turn of events.
Murder charges were dropped Thursday morning against a Las Vegas man, just days after he was arrested for a deadly stabbing.
The latest developments happened inside a Clark County courtroom.
Sheyland Barnett was once a murder suspect and is now exonerated.
He will soon walk out of the downtown jail a free man.
The case against him was dismissed. Prosecutors say Barnett acted in self-defense.
It took the judge just three minutes to reach her decision.
Barnett was ordered to be released from jail for a murder he did not commit.
“This is a very unusual situation," said Michael Gowdey, Barnett's attorney. "It's not very often someone is charged with murder and within days the charges are dismissed."
“The one person who acted in self-defense was Mr. Barnett. So justice has been served here,” he continued.
The case stems from a fight that turned deadly on Dec. 5.
It happened in a call center parking lot near Sunset and Bermuda.
According to Gowdey, it appeared to be a fight over addiction.
Barnett said his girlfriend is a recovering drug addict. He was apparently worried a woman she was talking to was trying to enable her addiction by loaning her car.
Gowdey said Barnett tried to stop his girlfriend from getting that car.
The following day, Barnett was attacked in the call center parking lot.
Barnett was armed with a knife with his kids in his car when a fight broke out between him and four people.
Barnett fought back, stabbing two of his attackers, killing one.
The man who died was the woman’s cousin. His name is Galean Simon.
Prosecutor Marc Digiacomo had strong words about Simon.
“Basically, he was a thug there to engage in street justice,” explained DiGiacomo, who said he followed the evidence.
He said emails prove the attack was a setup and Simon was to blame.
“They've been on the news claiming he's a hero. No, he's not. He's a three-time convicted felon who was known to engage in acts of violence,” said DiGiacomo.
As for Barnett, his day in court was a chance to clear his name. The one-time murder suspect will now be a free man.
“This is true justice,” said Gowdey.
Barnett is expected to be released from jail by Friday.
But the investigation isn’t over.
It’s still unclear if Barnett’s attackers will face any charges.