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Gov. Northam pardons man convicted in 2002 Portsmouth killing

LAMAR AND DE'ANDRE BARNES 1-8 PIC.jpg
Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-09 20:20:21-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Gov. Ralph Northam has granted a full pardon to a man sentenced to life in prison in the 2002 killing of a pregnant woman and the shooting of her boyfriend.

Northam granted an absolute pardon Tuesday to Lamar Edward Barnes in the slaying of Amy McRae and the shooting of Mark King in Portsmouth, De'Andre Barnes, Portsmouth's Vice Mayor and cousin of Lamar Edward Barnes, confirms to News 3.

Northam's office said the pardon reflects Barnes' innocence of the convictions. De'Andre tells News 3 that Lamar was able to come home Tuesday after being incarcerated for 20 years.

"As a family, we always believe he was innocent. Happy he was able to come home," De'Andre Barnes said.

An investigation found that Barnes had a "corroborated alibi" at the time of the killing, but that evidence was not introduced by Barnes' lawyer during his trial. The governor's office also said eyewitnesses who testified against Barnes, including King, later recanted their identifications of him.

De'Andre also tells News 3 that the family is asking for people to just pray for Lamar and wish him well. He also shared a video of Lamar's return home as his family helped celebrate his release. To watch the video, click here.

Related: Gov. Northam pardons Portsmouth man sentenced to die in prison for robbery