Local News

Former N.C. State student pleads guilty in gazebo shooting

Posted January 7, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— A former North Carolina State University student who prosecutors say pulled the trigger in a gang-related shooting at a university apartment complex last summer pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to his role in the crime.

Ryan Alexander Barnes, 21, who was arrested on an attempted first-degree murder charge, pleaded guilty to lesser charges of assault with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and assault with intent to inflict serious injury.

Leroy Barnes Two sentenced in gang-related gazebo shooting

Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand sentenced Barnes to seven to 10 years in prison.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Wilson said Barnes used a .25-caliber pistol to shoot Clarence Grubbs and his girlfriend as they sat under a gazebo at Wolf Village Apartments on Gorman Street on July 28.

Barnes is one of five people been charged in the case.

Wilson said another man, Alex Dorsey, a leader of a Crips gang who was in jail at the time, ordered a hit on Grubbs because he was a witness in a robbery case.

Grubbs was shot five times but recovered. His girlfriend, Caroline Pittman, was shot in the foot.

In court, Barnes, who has no prior record, apologized for his actions.

His attorney, Nick Saparilas, said Barnes joined a gang at age 16 because he was picked on in school and that "he put his trust in the wrong people."

"This young man had a life that was exemplary, and this is an aberration," Saparilas said.

Leroy Barnes Jr., 19, who was also charged with attempted first-degree murder in the case and is unrelated to Ryan Barnes, also pleaded guilty Wednesday. He was sentenced to six to eight years on a charge of assault with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. He also apologized for his actions.

"I've been leading the gang life, and I want to change when I come home," he told Rand.

Rand ordered one other suspect in the case, Terrell Maurice Grimes, 16, to undergo psychological counseling to see if he can plea as an adult because of his age. His case will be reviewed in 90 days.

Wilson said in court Wednesday morning that the three men helped N.C. State University police get enough information to charge Dorsey with attempted first-degree murder and two counts of solicitation.

Dorsey pleaded guilty last month to the charges and is serving 20 to 25 years in prison.

Ryan Barnes' girlfriend at the time of the shooting, Whitney Blakeney, 20, also pleaded guilty last month to one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice. She was given a 45-day suspended sentence and 18 months of supervised probation.


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  • Deacons Jan 7, 2009

    our judicial system, sorry for the typo

  • Deacons Jan 7, 2009

    Our judicial systems needs some serious reform, the country was not founded like this, if he had done this when the judicial system had a backbone he would not be here to cause any more problems.

  • Deacons Jan 7, 2009

    I wish every citizen would carry arms with them everywhere they go, like the old west. When people start shooting back at thugs, they'll be forced to realize they're not the sheriff in town any more.

    TBK: we agree 100% on this one. I know sometimes we have some differences on NCSU, but rest assured it is only because I think they can do better. Take care.

  • jsanders Jan 7, 2009

    "I think the Free Expression Tunnel episode was blown way out of proportion. But, I doubt the John Locke Foundation is whose opinions I'd turn to with regard to free expression in totality."

    If you oppose free expression, as protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and even more strongly protected by the NC Constitution, then you're not likely to find much from the Locke Foundation on that issue that you'll like.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jan 7, 2009

    The judge will say his sentence was based on the "fair Sentencing act"...so why do we need to pay judges so much if its cut and dried.

  • True Blue in Wake County Jan 7, 2009

    Joined the gang at 16 because he was being "picked" on....ROFL

    and 5 years later he didnt learn enough to leave? Sounds like Laquan was only sorry because he got caught.

  • stategirl2 Jan 7, 2009

    I have seen several comments on here referring to the free expression tunnel. Why can't you just get over it, as you tell Black people to do about the past. I keep hearing about what need to do to fix their community. Well what about the men who killed I think 8 people on Christmas eve, or man who shot his ex-wife and two others, or how about the woman who shot her ex-boyfriend. I would keep going but I think you get the picture

  • whatusay Jan 7, 2009

    My mom always told me, "you are a reflection of the people you associate with."

  • Hip-Shot Jan 7, 2009

    That's one more put away for perhaps a couple of years: unfortunately there will be 4 or 5 more to take his place. Our American society is in decay...all the values that our forefathers fought for are going away. That kid probably had as a role model the gang and rap music. He probably had no real father figure nor family values.

    Whatever happened to completing school and going on to college to make something of yourself? Whatever happened to the belief in a higher being and a fear of that higher power? Whatever happened to a respect for your fellow human beings? It's obvious that this thug had none of these.

  • hkypky Jan 7, 2009

    tackman79: You're right. Problem is, the military happens to be "looking for a few GOOD men."