Watch CBS News

Davonte Barnes found guilty in 2021 mass shooting at Miami-Dade's El Mula Banquet Hall

Lookout in 2021 mass shooting convicted
Lookout in 2021 mass shooting convicted 00:38

MIAMI -- A Miami-Dade jury on Friday convicted a man accused of opening fire outside the El Mula Banquet Hall during a mass shooting that left three people dead and nearly two dozen others after deliberating for roughly around four hours.

Davonte Barnes
  Davonte Barnes CBS News Miami

Davonte Barnes, 24, showed no emotion when the clerk for Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez read the verdict. 

Jury members found Barnes guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of Desmond Owens and Clayton Dillard III, both 26, and Shaniqua Peterson, 32. Jurors also found him guilty of attempted second-degree murder on several other counts related to the incident.

He was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, however

The judge set sentencing for Barnes for Nov. 3 at 11:30 a.m. He faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole.  

The judge made clear before the verdict reading that she would not tolerate any emotional outbursts from the courtroom.

"I know there's a lot of tension and angst in the courtroom," she said. "I'm going to ask you all please to continue to conduct yourself appropriately in the courtroom and even outside in the hallway. The verdict is going to be read (and) please control yourselves. These are orders from this court. Violating court orders will result in penalties, I promise you that."

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released a statement following Barnes' sentencing Saturday morning, saying the verdict is "not the end" of the investigation.

"This guilty verdict is not the end of this detailed investigation but just the successful first step in the law enforcement effort to obtain justice for all the shooting victims, those who lost their lives and those who still live with the pain of that night's events," she stated. "I congratulate the Miami-Dade Police Department homicide detectives and officers who helped bring this case to a positive conclusion and Assistant State Attorneys Christopher Flanagan and Kioceaia Stenson, whose superb work brought this case to its proper final result."

Barnes was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and 21 counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting over the Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2021 that sent the crowd scrambling for cover.

Owens, Dillard and Peterson were killed while nearly two dozen others were hurt during the shooting on May 30.

The event occurred outside the Miami-Dade hall where a crowd had gathered to attend a rap show.

Investigators have said the shooting was a coordinated plan that involved two vehicles and at least five gunmen.

Police have said previously that the shooting was likely linked to an ongoing feud between two rival gangs over who would be king of Opa-locka

Prosecutors said Barnes was the lookout during the crime, and jurors apparently agreed.

During the two-week trial, jurors saw police interrogating Barnes who said "I just want to tell you the truth."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.