NORMAN — A Norman woman asked a judge to protect her from her former boyfriend shortly before the boyfriend was gunned down in his grandmother’s home, a “beat down” she arranged, court records reveal.
Seven people are charged with first-degree murder in connection with Justin Barnard’s March 28 home-invasion death, including his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Dianna Paige St. Clair.
In an application for an emergency protective order, St. Clair described how she wasn’t able to go home for two weeks for fear of Barnard, whom she described as an ex-boyfriend.
“He would show up and act crazy around my kids” and beat holes in the walls, she wrote in the petition, filed Feb. 19.
After she left to stay with her mother, Barnard would show up and sit in front of the house, leaving only after she threatened to call police, St. Clair wrote. And she said his family member called her and threatened to kill her and her children. Reports of harassment, stalking and burglary also were reported to the Norman Police Department.
St. Clair, 22, has three daughters, ages 4, 2 and 1, according to the petition. She’s also expecting a child, authorities say.
The petition was dismissed Feb. 27 after St. Clair failed to show up to court, records show.
Barnard’s grandmother, Dovie Barnard, says despite the accusations St. Clair made in the petition, her grandson wasn’t violent.
“He loved them kids even though he’d been with them nine months. And they was calling him Daddy,” she said.
St. Clair’s mother has custody of the children, said Capt. Tom Easley, a spokesman for the Norman Police Department. If St. Clair is in jail when her baby is born, it will be taken into state Department of Human Services custody.
Victim’s grandmother describes attack
Dovie Barnard survived the harrowing home invasion in which her grandson was killed. She was assaulted and robbed of her wallet after six masked men stormed into her Norman home, records show.
But she wasn’t the target, and the intruders focused on her grandson, Justin Barnard, who tried to protect himself with a baseball bat, she said.
One of the men, armed with a gun, shot Justin Barnard in the chest, she recalls. Then, he approached her.
“He came back to me and said, ‘Now, Grandma, it’s your turn!’” Barnard said.
But the sound of approaching sirens may have convinced the men to flee instead.
The six men returned to Oklahoma City after the shooting, and three of them got rid of evidence related to the incident, including the gun, court records state.
Prosecutors have charged Rusty Wooten, 31; Isaiah Walker, 23; Jason Harris, 28; Gary Harris, 29; Michael Tubby, 21; and Monte Jones, 45, with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary. St. Clair also faces a count of first-degree murder; prosecutors say she told Wooten on the phone she wanted Barnard assaulted for “what he had done to her.”
All are being held in Cleveland County jail. Jones and Walker are held without bail; bail is set at $1 million for Gary Harris and $2 million for Wooten, Tubby, St. Clair and Jason Harris.
Dovie Barnard said the day before the shooting, the couple was fighting over her car, which Jason Barnard had wrecked. They also argued about getting married (she wanted to, he wasn’t ready), and her ex-husband, who was writing her letters from prison, the grandmother said.
“I said ‘Justin, you need to just forget about her. All she’s doing is using you. When you work, she uses you for your money. She comes back on Thursday evening and she’s there for your check on Fridays. Then y’all fall out on Monday or Tuesday,’” Dovie Barnard said.
Girlfriend is due in court
Homicides are infrequent in Norman.
The city reported four homicides last year and three so far this year, but it is common to have years where one or even none occur, according to crime data provided by the Norman Police Department.
Having seven defendants makes this case especially unusual. The lead detective has spent more than 300 hours investigating. Assistance has been provided by others within the department as well as the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, the FBI, the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Spencer Police Department, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol dive team.
St. Clair is expected to appear in court Tuesday.