Knife threat alleged in killing Fatal shooting was not first incident between the two men


The Severna Park man who shot an alleged intruder to death in his home Sunday night told county police that the victim threatened him with a kitchen knife before he pulled the trigger, police said yesterday.

Officer Carol Frye, police spokeswoman, said a knife was found near the body of John Robert Carpenter Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at the house in the 1300 block of Oak Road. She said there was no evidence anyone forced their way into the house.

Donald A. Barnes, 38, who lives in the one-story house in shady and quiet Hollywood on the Severn, shot Carpenter twice with a shotgun just after 9: 35 p.m. Sunday after calling 911 to report an intruder in his home, Frye said.

After being disconnected during his first 911 call, Barnes called back to report that he'd shot the intruder, Frye said. She said three of Barnes' children were in the house at the time.

Barnes has not been charged in the incident and it could take "several days" before police decide whether to do so, Frye said. Barnes could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Frye said Barnes, a roofing contractor, knew Carpenter through Barnes' wife, Kim, and that Carpenter had been visiting his sister, Deborah Marie Hunter of the 400 block of Cloverdale Road in Severna Park, before the shooting occurred.

Kim Barnes "is friends with Mr. Carpenter's sister, and I think that is how she met Mr. Carpenter," Frye said.

Sunday night wasn't the first time Barnes and Carpenter had crossed paths with violent results.

"A week ago, there was another assault," Frye said. "Mr. %J Carpenter did beat [Barnes] with a baseball bat. It was an argument, but I don't know about what. He suffered bruises but they never contacted the police."

Three neighbors, all of whom asked not to be named, said they had heard about the fight and that another neighbor told them he had seen the bruises on Barnes' arm. They also complained about the way Barnes maintained his property on the street near the Severn River.

"From the time he moved in, he's let the property deteriorate," said one neighbor.

Pub Date: 6/10/98

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