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Marlin Barnes was a linebacker for the University of Miami Hurricanes. He was found shot and beaten to death in his apartment in 1996, along with his longtime friend, Timwanika Lumpkins.[1] Barnes was a six-foot, 220-pound linebacker who played second string for the Hurricanes. Barnes and Ray Lewis who played for the Baltimore Ravens were roommates at The University of Miami.


On the morning of April 13, 1996, Barnes' body was discovered when his roommate, Earl Little, came home to pick up the keys to his truck. Little found that someone had slashed two of the tires on his truck, and when he attempted to open the door to the apartment, he noticed that there was something obstructing the door. When Earl looked through an opening in the door, he saw the body of his roommate and friend, Marlin Barnes, slumped against the door with a pool of blood surrounding him. Barnes was severely injured and had nearly lost his entire face in what appeared to be a brutal beating, and was close to death when Little found him. By the time the police arrived, Barnes was already dead. It was discovered that Barnes had been beaten to death with a blunt object. After a thorough search of the rest of the apartment, police found the beaten and broken, yet alive, body of Barnes’ girlfriend, Timwanika Lumpkins, pinned between the bed and the wall. She later died in the hospital.[2][3]


After seventeen days of investigation, it was concluded that Lumpkins’ ex-boyfriend, Labrant Dennis, had entered the apartment after slashing the tires on Little’s car. After entering the apartment, Dennis proceeded to beat Barnes twenty-two times with the butt of a shotgun. When he was done with Barnes, he turned on Lumpkins, doing the same to her as he did to Barnes.[2] Dennis was sentenced to the death penalty[4] and as of 2018 was still on death row.[5]


In December 1996 The University of Miami agreed to a financial settlement with the families of Barnes and Lumpkins, due to the murders having occurred in a on-campus apartment. All parties agreed to keep the details of the settlement private. But the Miami Herald, under unnamed sources, reported that each family received more than $1 million.[6][7]

In popular culture

The Investigation Discovery documentary series "The Perfect Murder", episode titled The Last Blitz (S5; E10), air date: September 27, 2018, run time: 42 minutes, depicts the Barnes-Lumpkins murders and the shock waves experienced by the campus and community.[8][9]

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