Murder suspect told relatives he dropped his mom off at the airport to hide her murder

Steve Campion Image
BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Man accused of dismembering mom's body, murder appears in court
Robert Barnes told relatives he'd dropped off his mother, Lucila Barnes, at the airport. Her body was found dismembered inside a homemade box in her home.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of killing his elderly mother and dismembering her body at her northwest Harris County home told relatives and deputies that he dropped her off at the airport in an attempt to hide her murder, court documents revealed.

Authorities said Robert Barnes, 36, greeted his aunt with a rifle and told her to go away when she stopped by to inquire about her sister's well-being. When he couldn't say which airport, law enforcement secured a warrant to look inside the Cactus Point Court home.

SEE MORE: Man accused of killing and dismembering his mother in NW Harris County

Depraved details emerged Friday when Barnes appeared before a Harris County judge in a blue jumpsuit. Prosecutors said he confessed to shooting his mother, Lucila Barnes, 72, to death, dismembering her body, and concealing it in a homemade box inside the family's garage.

Barnes appeared polite when addressing the magistrate inside probable cause court. He asked whether he could contact his siblings, who themselves are mourning the loss of their mother.

The judge said no and set his bond at $650,000. Barnes is charged with murder and tampering with evidence, namely a corpse.

A public defender, speaking on behalf of the unemployed man, said Barnes is a father to an 8-year-old son. Barnes' attorney asked for a lower bond, saying he doesn't have any money in the bank.

If Barnes posts bond, he'll be required to be under around-the-clock house arrest and wear a GPS monitor.

Follow Steve Campion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.