Man pleads guilty in shooting death of Milwaukee teenager who wrote essay on gun violence

A Milwaukee man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to his role in the shooting death of an eighth-grader who once wrote a heralded essay decrying gun violence, according to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

Isaac D. Barnes, 27, was charged with reckless homicide after bullets shattered 13-year-old Sandra Parks’ Milwaukee bedroom window as she watched television, killing her in November 2018, according to CNN affiliate WISN. A second man, Untrell Oden, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Barnes and Oden were walking from a store when Barnes started “shooting at an unknown target,” WISN reported, citing a criminal complaint.

Barnes pleaded guilty to three charges, including first-degree reckless homicide, Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said in an email to CNN.

In return for Barnes’ plea, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Mark Sanders granted a motion by prosecutors to drop a witness intimidation charge against Barnes, according to Sanders’ clerk Jean Schwonek.

Barnes will be sentenced in August.

In 2016, Sandra wrote the essay, entitled “Our Truth,” for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. contest when she was in sixth grade. She placed third, WISN reported.

The essay spoke about the constant shootings in her hometown and other places, and the emotional toll they take on young people.

“Little children are victims of senseless gun violence,” she wrote. ” … I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day. When I do; I come to the same conclusion … we are in a state of chaos.”

During a 2017 appearance on Wisconsin Public Radio, Sandra said: “All you hear about is somebody dying or somebody getting shot and people do not just think about whose father or son or granddaughter or grandson who it was that was just killed.”