Bail was denied for a man who allegedly shot a woman he had been dating at her Lake View apartment building early Saturday after she discovered text messages from another woman on his cellphone and broke up with him.
George Barnett, 31, of the West Chesterfield neighborhood, is charged with felony counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm, according to Cook County prosecutors and court records. During Barnett’s initial court hearing Sunday, Judge David Navarro ordered him held without bail at the Cook County Jail.
Barnett, the 29-year-old girlfriend and two friends who were visiting town went to have drinks Friday night at the Diversey River Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey Ave., according to prosecutors. When Barnett’s lover noticed text messages from another woman on his cellphone, she broke up with him and left the bowling alley with her friends.
After they returned to the 29-year-old’s apartment in the 400 block of West Briar Place, one of her friends went to sleep and the other continued drinking with her, prosecutors said. Early Saturday, Barnett’s ex-girlfriend blocked his phone number and he showed up at the apartment a short time later brandishing a .45 caliber handgun, according to prosecutors and Chicago police.
That’s when he grabbed the ex-girlfriend by the throat and pushed her against a wall as he yelled about her ex-boyfriend, prosecutors said. He then pointed the gun at the other person’s head while asking where the sleeping friend had gone.
When the 29-year-old led Barnett into the hallway, he allegedly opened fire and a bullet grazed her back, authorities said. Meanwhile, the friend who was still awake escaped to the building’s laundry room and called 911.
Still armed, Barnett was taken into custody as he trailed the woman around the apartment complex. He later admitted to having and firing the gun on a video taken with a body-worn police camera, according to prosecutors, who said he doesn’t have a firearm owner’s identification or a concealed carry license.
His ex-girlfriend was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center and treated for the graze wound, authorities said. They had been dating for about seven months, prosecutors said.
Barnett, who has no criminal history, earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and now works as an accountant for SS&C Technologies, a publicly-traded company that sells investment management software, according to his public defender.
Barnett’s public defender claimed that his client, a lifelong resident of Cook County, has a valid FOID card, contrary to what prosecutors had said.
Before ordering Barnett held without bail, Navarro described the allegations laid out by prosecutors as “terrifying.” He also signed off on an order preventing Barnett from coming into contact with his ex-girlfriend or visiting her home, work or school.
Barnett’s next court date was set for Friday.