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NEWS RELEASES
Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Man Charged with Murder


Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives on Friday, September 20 served a 41-year-old West Columbia man with an arrest warrant on a charge of murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 54-year-old Lexington man earlier this year.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives served Richard Earl Barnes, 41, of 4127 Greenwood Drive, West Columbia, at the Lexington County Detention Center with the arrest warrant on a charge of murder. Barnes was being held at the Detention Center on bail totaling $505,000 on prior charges of being an accessory after the fact to murder, manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing 28 grams or less of marijuana.

Barnes will remain at the Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing on the charge of murder, Metts said. Under South Carolina law, a circuit judge would have to conduct a bond hearing for Barnes in general sessions court because murder carries a punishment of life in prison. The 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office has not yet scheduled a bond hearing for Barnes.

Arrest warrants allege that between March 9 and April 18 Barnes and Worth Edward Cook, III, 27, of 815 Lee Gunter Road, Leesville, acted with malice in killing David Johnathan Diblasi, 54, of Lexington, by stabbing Diblasi multiple times at Cook’s home, Metts said.

In April, detectives arrested Barnes and Cook in connection with the killing of Diblasi, who was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Department on March 9, Metts said. At that time, detectives recovered the body of Diblasi, who had been stabbed in his left eye and suffered a fractured skull. Detectives recovered Diblasi’s body after excavating a burial site in the backyard of Cook’s home.

On Friday, detectives obtained the arrest warrant for Barnes on a charge of murder after witnesses identified Barnes as a participant in the fatal stabbing of Diblasi, Metts said.

Cook was being held without bond on Friday at the county Detention Center on charges of murder, financial transaction card fraud, obtaining property under false pretenses and violating the conditions of his court-ordered supervision, Metts said.

Diblasi’s mother reported her 54-year-old son missing to the Sheriff’s Department on March 9, Metts said. Diblasi’s mother told deputies that she last saw her son at her home on February 25. Diblasi lived with his mother at her home near Lexington.

Arrest warrants allege that Diblasi was last seen on February 25 in the company of Barnes and Cook, who knew Diblasi, Metts said. On March 5, Barnes and Cook traveled in a white 1997 Chrysler Town & Country van that is owned by Barnes’ girlfriend to a Wal-Mart supercenter on South Lake Drive near Lexington, where Cook used Diblasi’s TD Bank credit card to buy baby supplies, including diapers. Diblasi was not with Cook when Cook used Diblasi’s credit card to make the purchase. Cook’s girlfriend was pregnant.

In April, detectives executed a search warrant at Cook’s home and found Diblasi’s body in a clandestine grave that had been dug on Cook’s property, Metts said. The body later was positively identified as Diblasi’s body, based on numerous tattoos found on the body.

After he and Barnes killed Diblasi, arrest warrants allege that Cook cut up Diblasi’s white 1996 Isuzu Hombre pickup truck, which Diblasi had driven to Cook’s home, Metts said.

Arrest warrants further allege that Barnes took the remaining parts of Diblasi’s Isuzu Hombre pickup truck to Temple’s Verbe Auto Parts, 7303 Two Notch Road, Batesburg, where Barnes sold the remaining parts of the truck to be recycled, Metts said. Barnes also unsuccessfully tried to use Diblasi’s credit card to buy a saw at a home improvement center.



 


10/24/2014 - Criminal Domestic Violence Video  
10/21/2014 - Deputies Arrest Man for Sexually Assaulting Two Females  
10/18/2014 - Detectives Arrest Woman for Threatening to Use Destructive Device  
10/06/2014 - White Knoll Business Coalition Open House  
09/29/2014 - Man Arrested for Robbing Two Convenience Stores and Trying to Rob One Discount Store  
09/25/2014 - Man Arrested in Fatal Shooting  
09/23/2014 - Man Charged with Burglary  
09/22/2014 - Shooting Incident  
09/22/2014 - Investigators Seek Citizens' Help in Investigating 2009 Murder  
09/17/2014 - Road Closures  
09/17/2014 - Detectives Arrest Man for Trying to Steal Two Motor Vehicles  
09/16/2014 - Sheriff's Department Donates More than $3,000 to Nancy K. Perry Children's Shelter  
09/11/2014 - Man Returned to Lexington County on Murder Charges  
09/09/2014 - Missing Person Investigation  
09/07/2014 - Woman Charged with Intentionally Setting Fire to Residence  
08/28/2014 - Fugitive Investigators Arrest Man Who Owed More Than $170,000 in Child Support Payments  
08/25/2014 - Sheriffs Department Donates Over 700 to United Way  
08/22/2014 - CrimeStoppers Tip Enables Detectives to File Charge  
08/19/2014 - Explorers Post 106 First Nighters Meeting  
08/19/2014 - Detectives Arrest Two Men for Stealing One Motor Vehicle and Stealing Items from Four Motor Vehicles  
08/14/2014 - Man Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Two Children  
08/08/2014 - Officer Involved Shooting Investigation  
08/07/2014 - Aviation Unit Recovers Stolen Vehicle During National Night Out  
08/04/2014 - Man Arrested for Attempted Murder and Heroin Trafficking  
07/31/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Two Deputies  


NEWS RELEASES


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