A Warner Robins man now faces a felony murder charge after the death of a shooting victim and a review of the case by a Houston County grand jury.
Kevin Blake Barwick was initially charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after the June 5 shooting in the 200 block of Evergreen Street in Warner Robins.
Jason Jackson Howell, 39, who was shot in the neck, died June 19 at the Medical Center, Navicent Health. Born in Houston County, Howell, a painter, had lived mostly in Cochran, according to his obituary.
Barwick initially denied any involvement in the shooting, but later admitted to accidentally shooting Howell while trying to escape being robbed, according to an arrest warrant.
On Tuesday, a Houston County grand jury indicted Barwick on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, methamphetamine possession, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The indictments were entered into the court record Wednesday.
Police think that the 12:52 p.m. shooting was drug-related, according to a Warner Robins police news release.
According to an arrest warrant, officers responding to the area of 215 Evergreen Street to reports of shots fired were told a white van sped away from the area.
Meanwhile, an off-duty officer working a detail at Houston Medical Center reported a gun-shot victim — later identified as Howell — had been brought to the hospital via a white van. Barwick and others in the van were taken to the police station for questioning.
Barwick initially denied having anything to do with the shooting, but later admitted to accidentally shooting Howell, according to the warrant.
He told police that others in the van were hitting him in the face and head, attempting to rob him, and he was trying to get out of the van when Howell was shot, according to the warrant.
“Barwick stated that he didn’t mean to shoot him,” the warrant said. “He was trying to get out of the van.”
Barwick was out on bond when the shooting occurred. He is pending trial in connection with a restaurant burglary two years ago in which a safe was stolen.
Perry police found the safe in his residence with more than $1,500 inside. He’s also pending trial for an unrelated home burglary.
Additionally, Barkwick has served time in prison for drug-related convictions, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website.
In February 2015, an investigation into the burglary of the Subway restaurant at 1412 Sam Nunn Blvd. in Perry led police to Savannah Apartments at 120 Ignico Drive in Warner Robins.
Police found the Subway safe in Barwick’s apartment and some of the stolen money inside the safe, according to Perry police Capt. Heath Dykes. Barwick was living at a Green Street residence when he was arrested in the shooting case, according to an arrest and booking report.
In the Subway burglary, Barwick was charged with theft by taking. Two former Subway employees and another man previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the burglary.
Barwick also faces trial in an unrelated 2015 burglary of a Northlake Drive residence near Perry.