Police apprehended Richard Lawrence Barnes, 46, shortly after 1 p.m. today in 400 block of Magnolia Avenue in Orlando after they received a tip he was in the area. Barnes had been named a suspect in the homicide of Cynthia McGee Bryant, who police said was in an on-and-off relationship with Barnes.
Police Chief Cecil Smith said Barnes is currently being held at the Orlando Police Department where he is being interviewed by investigators. Smith said he expects Barnes will be booked into the Orange County jail sometime today.
“The swift apprehension would not have been possible without the assistance from the community,” said Smith.
Bryant was found fatally shot in her insurance office, McGee Insurance, at 400 W. 25th St. shortly after noon Monday. Police said two witnesses saw Barnes enter the insurance agency and a short while later gunshots were heard and Barnes was seen leaving the scene.
Smith was unable to confirm whether Bryant ever expressed any fear of Barnes, however he said he believed there had been police reports involving the two in the past.
Although he would not release all the details of the shooting, Smith said police believed Bryant was on the phone when she was shot two to four times with a handgun. It is unclear how Barnes, a convicted felon, would have gained possession of the handgun.
Barnes has not been officially charged yet, however Smith said he believed there was probable cause to arrest Barnes. Any charges, said Smith, will be handled by the State Attorney’s Office.
Barnes was released from prison in May 2008 after serving more than a year for cocaine possession and sales. According to the Florida Department of Corrections his current address was listed as the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, which was only blocks from where Bryant served as a pastor.