Two men were sentenced to lengthy prison terms today after being convicted of kidnapping and carjacking for an attack on a couple in Oakland’s Montclair District in 1994 — a cold case that was solved using DNA evidence. Oakland police said the two suspects in the case shoved the couple into the trunk of their own car on Jan. 29, 1994, drove them to ATMs to withdraw cash, beat the husband and raped the wife in the back seat in a remote location in the Oakland hills. The case was unsolved for 13 years, but in 2007, DNA evidence tied Dewayne Ewing and Kevin Barnes, who are now both 41, to the crime.
Authorities had collected DNA samples from Ewing and Barnes, who are cousins, when they were arrested for other crimes. They were charged with kidnapping and carjacking, but they were not charged with rape because the statute of limitations for that crime had expired. Ewing, who was a janitor at the time of the crime, and Barnes, who was a barber, could have faced life in prison if they had been convicted of all the charges against them, but in a plea deal on July 19 prosecutors agreed to lesser sentences in return for their no-contest pleas to two counts of kidnapping and one count of carjacking.
They also pleaded no contest to enhancement clauses of using a firearm, causing great bodily injury and being armed with a firearm. In addition, Barnes pleaded no contest to an enhancement for using a gun. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joseph Hurley today sentenced Barnes to 30 years in state prison term and Ewing to 25 years. However, they will only serve about half of their prison terms because they will get credit for the time they have already spent in jail. Ewing and Barnes chose not to speak at the sentencing hearing. Ewing’s attorney, William DuBois, said Ewing decided to accept the plea deal “in the best interest of himself” because he would have faced multiple life sentences if he had gone to trial and been convicted of all the charges against him.
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