Lehigh Valley

Suspected lookout charged in 2009 killing of man in Easton

Suspected lookout charged in 2009 killing of man in Easton

EASTON, Pa. - Charges have been filed in a 2009 homicide case in Easton, but not against the accused trigger-man. Police said they've nabbed the look-out guy.

A witness also testified that Franklin Barndt threw the alleged murder weapon in the Delaware River. It's information Barndt confirmed when he testified in front of the grand jury.

The 12-page grand jury document details the role that Franklin Barndt allegedly played in the homicide of Miguel Aponte inside the Easton cafe on March 30, 2009, leading to a charge of criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide.

Court records show that Barndt was the lookout for the suspected trigger-man, Jacob Holmes.

After Aponte was shot in the back of the establishment, Barndt and Holmes ran off together.

Raquel Meyer, Barndt's former girlfriend, told the grand jury she gave Barndt and a man named "Jake" a ride home the night of the shooting.

She testified in the car the two men said, "They would take this to the grave, and that payback was a [expletive]."

The district attorney is not commenting or speculating on the motive of the shooting, but at time of his death, Aponte was out on parole for a shooting in 2006 that injured Holmes and killed another man.

"It's this office's position is that the shooter is Jacob Holmes and this is a situation where we are not going to rest," said Tatum Wilson, assistant district attorney for Northampton County.

Raquel Meyer told the grand jury that Barndt threw a black automatic gun in the Delaware River a few days after the shooting.

When Meyer asked why she said Barndt said, "This was the gun that killed that (expletive), so shut the (expletive) up, and mind your business, this is family."

The district attorney's office said more arrest may be on the way.

"It's a serious charge, and we want to make sure that on charges like this we get it right," said Wilson. "We want to make sure that we looked and exhausted all of our investigation."

Investigators are still gathering evidence against Jacob Holmes.

Franklin Barndt is already in state prison on an unrelated charge.

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