A Columbia man was taken into custody Friday and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Thursday night’s fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old man at a convenience store in Columbia.
Robert J. Barney Jr., 26, surrendered to Columbia police at 2:35 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the former Osco Drug, 111 S. Providence. Police said Barney had called them about turning himself in.
“(Barney) had a rapport with the (Boone County) deputy and with one of our officers,” said Capt. Mike Martin, investigative commander for the Columbia Police Department. “His concern was how he was going to be taken into custody. We told him that we would pick him up without incident as long as there was no issue involving safety. He agreed to that.”
Barney was processed and taken to the Boone County Jail. His bond was set at $600,000 and arraignment set for 1:30 p.m. Monday in Boone County Associate Circuit Court.
In addition to second-degree murder, Barney was charged with first-degree assault in connection with the stabbing of a second man in the incident. He also faces a charge of armed criminal action.
Both victims suffered from stab wounds to the torso and were taken to University Hospital in critical condition. Deandre L. Terry, 20, of Columbia died at the hospital. Police were informed of his death at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Martin said.
On Friday afternoon, the second victim, whose name was not disclosed, was listed in stable condition at University Hospital.
The incident occurred just after 5 p.m. at the Break Time convenience store at 4 Business Loop 70 East. Two store clerks were apparently the only witnesses to the stabbings.
Police said the two victims were already in the store when the suspect and two other men arrived in a green Pontiac. An argument ensued, but police said they were still not sure what caused the argument or whether it was the result of some previous incident.
“We have conflicting information as to what occurred,” Martin said. “One version said it was road rage. Another version (said) it was an argument that was going on for the last few days.”
Police said the suspect fled the scene in the Pontiac, occupied by three people.
Police had not recovered the weapon Friday.
The Pontiac was spotted by police Thursday evening, occupied only by the driver, who was released after questioning. Although police said they did not believe the man was actively involved in the assault, they would not release his name.
Meanwhile, the third person in the vehicle was being sought, only for questioning. His name also wasn’t released.