Local News

Former Boyfriend Charged In Connection With Clayton Woman's Death

Posted May 5, 2006

— The former boyfriend of a slain Clayton woman was arrested in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and charged in connection with her death.

Dennis Wayne Shaw, 37, faces first-degree murder charges in connection with Ronda Renee Barnes' death. Barnes' mother found her daughter's body on April 18 in her home on Grovewood Drive.

Police believe Shaw, who is the father of Barnes' oldest child, killed Barnes the day before her body was found. The cause of death was labeled as blunt force trauma.

Family and friends said Barnes had been harassed at church for a year before her death and that on several occasions someone scratched her car, slashed her tires and plastered negative fliers about her while she was in church.

Clayton police also said someone broke into Barnes' home, set her bed on fire and spray-painted her walls in February 2005.

Police said Shaw is the prime suspect in those incidents, although he has not been charged.

"This person was just full of the devil, anybody who would do anything like that," said Barnes' neighbor Portia Salama.

Authorities also confirmed that sulfuric acid was found in Barnes' home and on her body last month. Police said they found "items of interest" when they searched Shaw's home and car. They also said he had a small burn on his face when he was arrested.

Shaw had no criminal record in North Carolina. However, police believe Barnes had a personal protection order against him in Washington. Moreover, family members told investigators that Shaw was jealous and possessive.

Tests on the chemical found in the house are not complete, and police say they don't know when Shaw will be returned to North Carolina. Barnes' family didn't want to comment on the arrest, except to say they are relieved.

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