Correctional Officer Ronald A. Barnes

Correctional Officer Ronald A. Barnes

Virginia Department of Corrections, Virginia

End of Watch Sunday, March 16, 1975

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Ronald A. Barnes

Correctional Officer Ronald Barnes died from acute head injuries after he was was beaten by two inmates, both 19, during an attempted escape at the Southampton Correctional Center a few hours earlier. The two kicked Officer Barnes in the head several times, and then robbed him and another guard. They unlocked all the cells but only a few joined them in their escape. All were captured. Some of the inmates helped with their capture.

Both were new inmates, sentenced to 25 year terms, one for murder, the other for rape. In 1976 both were sentenced to death plus 25 years for robbery and escape. In October of 1976 their death sentences were commuted to life. As of October 30, 2022, one was still in prison. The other was listed as a prison inmate in 1997.

Officer Barnes was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Remembering you on what would have been your 78th Birthday. We hold you in our hearts and love you always!

Ashley Barnes Rogers

May 29, 2024

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