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D.C. Man Sentenced for Killing Senate Aide

November 11, 1994

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A judge sentenced a District of Columbia man to 20 years to life in prison for killing an aide to Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, calling the slaying a ″dastardly and despicable″ act.

″This strikes fear into the hearts of any parent who’s sent away a child to another city to make their way in life,″ D.C. Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Alprin said in sentencing Edward Evans Jr. to the maximum penalty on Thursday.

Evans, 20, was convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of Samuel Thomas Barnes, 25, who died four days after being shot in the back of the head on Jan. 11, 1992, near his home about a mile from the U.S. Capitol.

Police described the shooting as a random, unprovoked attack. One prosecution witness testified that Evans, who is black, had spoken of wanting to shoot a white man.

In handing down the sentence, Alprin described the killing as ″one of the most dastardly and despicable acts I’ve ever seen or heard of,″ and said he wished he could add more time to the sentence.

The judge also ordered Evans to serve five to 15 years for using a firearm during a crime of violence and an additional year for illegally possessing a handgun.

The three sentences are to be served consecutively, meaning that Evans must serve at least 25 years and four months before becoming eligible for parole.

Barnes of Tuscaloosa, Ala., had moved to Washington in 1990 to work as an intern for Shelby and later became a member of his staff. Shelby, angered by the killing, sponsored a bill that forced a referendum on whether to instate the death penalty in the District of Columbia. It was defeated.

Shelby announced this week that he was switching from the Democratic to Republican Party.

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