Cynthia Barnes was a drug addict who supported her habit by turning tricks.
She also was a mother, sister and a daughter who had the potential to turn her life around, her loved ones believed.
But Barnes never got that second chance after she was thrown out of a third-floor apartment window on the Southwest Side more than three years ago.
“Some would look at your life and think all hope was lost years ago. You were never a ‘throwaway.’ You were never forgotten,” Mary Zavorski said Thursday, addressing her late daughter in a victim-impact statement before Barnes’ killer was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Barnes’ brother called 31-year-old Daniel Neasom an “animal” for murdering “Cyndi” on July 23, 2011.
“The coward overpowered her and even after her screams, he held her by her feet for about 10 seconds, which probably seemed like an eternity for her before letting go and watching her plummet three stories down to her death,” Michael Scharko said.
Neasom and Barnes, 39, had gotten into an argument over missing crack cocaine before she was flung out of Neasom’s apartment in the 5800 block of South Kedzie Avenue, according to court testimony in Neasom’s bench trial.
At the time of her death, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown wrote several columns about Barnes’ problems and the people who were closest to her.
Barnes had six kids, but her parental rights were taken away from her because of her lifestyle.
Two of those children also wrote victim-impact statements that were submitted to Judge James Linn on Thursday.
James Zavorski was 17 when Barnes died. He had plans to reconnect with his mother, but her murder upended his world.
“. . . The death of my mother really messed me up emotionally, and since then, I struggle with depression,” Zavorski said.
“I constantly have thoughts of maybe if my mom had a chance to meet one of her children, she may have had some motivation to kick her lifestyle. But for my mom all hope was lost the day her life was taken from her.”