Lehigh Valley

Court throws out appeal of soldier serving life in prison

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A soldier serving life in prison without parole for working with his then-14-year-old girlfriend to kill her mother tried to appeal his sentence, but it was upheld as of Monday.

A jury found Caleb Barnes, 22 at the time, guilty in 2016 of first-degree murder for the death of Cheryl Silvonek. Prosecutors said Barnes and his then-girlfriend, Jamie Silvonek, killed Cheryl Silvonek, 54, because she didn't approve of their relationship.

Lehigh County Judge Maria L. Dantos told Caleb Barnes that "you'll be locked in a cage for the rest of your natural life" when she imposed his sentence. She added 22 to 44 years to that for other counts.

Barnes decided not to talk at his sentencing hearing for the death of Cheryl Silvonek, but the smirk the judge said he had on his face spoke volumes. Dantos said she wanted it on the record.

 


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