Commonwealth v. Donald Anthony Barnes; Felon on Probation Commits Armed Robbery; 17-Year Sentence Imposed

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Donald Anthony Barnes, 22 years old, of the 1300 block of Gust Lane in Virginia Beach, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge William R. O’Brien for two (2) counts each of  Robbery and Use of a Firearm and one (1) count of Conspiracy. Judge O’Brien sentenced Barnes to 50 years in prison with 33 years suspended, leaving 17 years to serve. 

Barnes pled guilty on September 8, 2014.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on November 17, 2013, Barnes and four (4) co-defendants (Anthony Halsted, Cody Sawyers, Jacob Carlson, and Joseph O’Hagan) went to a prearranged drug deal with the intention of robbing the victim.  The male victim, who was supposed to sell marijuana to O’Hagan, showed up to the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn on Northampton Blvd in a car with his sister.  At that time, Barnes and three of the co-defendants pulled up in a vehicle and pointed a shotgun and a BB gun at the victims.  The drugs and the sister’s cell phone were taken at gunpoint and the five men all fled. 


The victims called the police and reported the robbery, identifying Joseph O’Hagan by name as the person who set up the drug purchase.  Police were able to quickly locate a room at a nearby motel rented in O’Hagan’s name.  Barnes was found in the nearby hotel room along with the BB gun and the stolen cell phone. 

Co-defendants Cody Sawyers, Jacob Carlson, and Joseph O’Hagan pled guilty for their role in the crime and cooperated with the investigation. Sawyers and Carlson each received an active sentence of four (4) years and three (3) months; O’Hagan received an active sentence of five (5) years and two (2) months.  Co-defendant Anthony Halsted pled guilty although he did not cooperate with investigators. For his role in the crimes, Halsted received an active prison sentence of eight (8) years.


Barnes has prior convictions from Chesapeake Circuit Court for Malicious Wounding, Malicious Wounding by Mob, and Statutory Burglary, for which he was on supervised probation when he committed the offenses in Virginia Beach.  As a result of these convictions, Barnes was found in violation of his probation in Chesapeake and sentenced to an additional 8 years in prison.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael D. Defricke. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.