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Barnette fled the scene after Greene fired shots at him, and Miss Williams and Greene escaped the flames by jumping out of a rear window. Under these circumstances, we believe that a conclusion that Bell's ability to perform his duties was substantially impaired was justified and that the court's decision to exclude Bell was not clearly erroneous or an abuse of discretion. Barnette also claims error in the district court's decision to allow the government to use a peremptory challenge to exclude a black juror, Stephany Jones, claiming the government excluded Miss Jones because of her race in violation of Batson v. Miss Williams was hospitalized with second and third degree burns to her hands and arms. Barnette saw Miss Williams in the apartment and began to strike at the windows with the bat. There, we deferred to the discretion of the trial judge when certain jurors' answers in the voir dire inquiry were ambiguous and arguably contradictory because this inquiry turns in a large part on assessments of demeanor and credibility we cannot duplicate. In the case at hand, Bell's voir dire testimony indicated that he was unclear as to his opinion on the death penalty. He then threw a fire bomb through a gap he had kicked open in the front door, setting the apartment on fire. While Bell did state that he would try to follow the law to the best of his ability and would consider the death penalty, he also indicated that he would possibly prefer one sentencing option over the other in that “[i]f given the two choices, I would weigh heavily on not wanting to go the death penalty unless it was very, very, very, very well warranted.” The trial judge had the opportunity to observe Bell and assess his answers first-hand. Laughrun, II, Goodman, Carr, Nixon, Laughrun & Levine, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant. Conrad, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney, Thomas G. § 2119(3); and use of a firearm while violating the Interstate Domestic Violence Act that results in death, 18 U. The break-up was not amicable, however, and Barnette continued to attempt to resume their relationship. Barnette presents 11 grounds for appeal before this court, alleging errors in the guilt and sentencing phases of the trial. Barnette then left the apartment they shared in Roanoke and returned to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lived in his mother's house. After a three-week trial in January 1998, the jury found Barnette guilty of murdering both Allen and Miss Williams, and following a separate sentencing trial, the jury recommended the death sentence for those crimes, which the court imposed. A little over a year later, their relationship soured, and Miss Williams broke up with Barnette in April 1996. A Batson challenge consists of three steps: (1) the defendant must make out a prima facie case that the peremptory challenge was based on purposeful discrimination, (2) the burden shifts to the government to produce a race neutral explanation for the peremptory challenge that is particular to the parties' case at hand, and (3) the trial court then has the duty of deciding whether the defendant has carried his burden and proved purposeful discrimination. The two moved in together in Roanoke, Virginia in March 1995.
After his arrest and Miranda warnings, Barnette took the police to the scene of Allen's murder and showed them where to find the body. Witt, noting that the juror did not have to make it “unmistakably clear that [he] would automatically vote against imposition of capital punishment” to justify the trial judge excluding him.
He told Miss Williams that he planned on killing her and himself. Williams came out of the house as they returned, and Miss Williams broke free from Barnette and went with her mother toward the house. He fired the first shot from 10 to 12 feet away, hitting Miss Williams in the side.