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Escaped armed robbery suspect recaptured at hotel

Posted October 4, 2008

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— Police officers recaptured an armed robbery suspect around midnight Friday after he escaped from custody earlier that day.

Police initially arrested Justin O'Neal Barnes, 20, for trespassing on Housing Authority Property around Paige Drive and West Roundtree Drive Friday afternoon.

While questioning him at the Greenville Police Department, officers connected him to a Wednesday night robbery, in which a man armed with a shotgun stole an undisclosed amount of money from a woman in a house on Paige Drive.

When the officer questioning him left to talk to a supervisor, Barnes managed to slip out of the police department building.

Police caught up to Barnes at the Horizon Motel, 2710 S. Memorial Drive around 11:45 p.m. They arrested him in a hotel room without incident.

Barnes was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, breaking-and-entering, possession of a firearm by a felon, second-degree trespassing and resisting a public officer.

Barnes was being held in the Pitt County Detention Center early Saturday. His bond had not yet been set.

In the past two years, Barnes has been convicted four times for selling or using drugs, as well as communicating threats in Pitt County, according to state Department of Correction records. He has served about eight months in prison on two separate sentences, including one for violating his probation.

His most recent sentence ended on April 20.

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