HOUSTON – A Harris County County Criminal Law Officer on Friday set bond at $650,000 for a defendant accused of fatally shooting his mother, dismembering her body and placing it in a crate he had made a month prior.
Robert Barnes, 36, is charged with the felony offenses of murder and tampering with evidence, namely a corpse, in the shooting death of his mother Lucila Barnes, 72.
In probable cause court Friday, Barnes’s bail was set at $650,000 -- $500,000 for the murder charge and $150,000 for tampering with a corpse. As a condition of any bond Barnes does post, Barnes is ordered not to contact any of his family members and to surrender his passport and any travel documentations he has. His travel will also be restricted to Harris County and its contiguous counties and he will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor under house arrest until his next court appearance.
According to court documents read during the probable cause hearing, Barnes confessed he shot his mother multiple times before mutilating her body to fit it inside the crate.
Additionally, when the victim’s sister came to her home to check on her, Barnes came out with an AK rifle and told them to leave, adding that he had taken his mother to the airport.
Later, when pressed by officers, Barnes could not say which airport he had taken his mother to, according to court documents read during the probable cause hearing. Ultimately, officers found the victim in the garage.
Authorities said they found Lucila Barnes’ body on Thursday in the 11100 block of Cactus Point Court near Barker Cypress and Cypress North Houston in northwest Harris County.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called the case “sad and horrific” on Twitter.
Deputies said on Wednesday evening, they received a call from family members that they have not been able to make contact with Lucila since Tuesday. They also told deputies that they apparently tried to make contact with Robert who they say was her son. He then became hostile and pointed a gun towards them.
Deputies then executed a search warrant after they received “several conflicting stories” from Robert Barnes.
Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators were called to the scene to find Lucila’s body inside the home, which was later found with “signs of trauma” inside the garage, according to an earlier tweet from Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.