Chief Deputy Sheriff Sharon Joann Barnes
Dent County Sheriff's Department
Summary of Offense:
In December 2002, Earl Forrest, who had been drinking, went to Harriet Smith's home and demanded that she fulfill her part of a bargain to buy a lawn mower and a mobile home for Forrest in exchange for Forrest introducing her to a source for methamphetamine. During the ensuing melee, Forrest shot a guest of Smith's, Michael Wells, in the face, killing him. Forrest also shot Smith six times, killing her. He took $25,000 worth of methamphetamine from Smith's home and returned to his own home, where he had a shootout with law enforcement officers. He shot and killed Deputy Joann Barnes. He also shot his girlfriend, Angela Gamblin, and Sheriff Bob Wofford, both of whom survived. He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and the jury found him guilty on all three counts. The jury subsequently recommended a death sentence for each of the three murders.