Former boyfriend gets life term in Omahan's slaying - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 2:28 am
Former boyfriend gets life term in Omahan's slaying

Takesha Barnes wanted protection from her ex-boyfriend just long enough so that she and her children could flee back to her native Omaha.

Barnes never made it home.

Thomas Lamont Moton, 39, gunned down Barnes in a parking lot outside a school in Avondale, Ariz., where she was attending a daughter's graduation.

Moton was sentenced Friday in Arizona to life in prison, the maximum penalty he could receive. He was convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, mother of his two children.

Barnes and Moton had a history of domestic violence, family members said.

Just four days before her May 25 death, Barnes petitioned for a restraining order, saying Moton had sent threatening text messages, physically abused her and forced her to add his name to their son's birth certificate.

“I am scared for our safety and what will happen to us in the near future,” Barnes wrote in the petition.

“I plan to leave the state of Arizona within the next two weeks to prevent anything further occurring as I feel he will cause physical and emotional harm to me and my children.”

Barnes had just left an eighth-grade graduation ceremony with her three children.

Moton approached her parked vehicle and fired three rounds through the windshield, striking and killing Barnes.

Surveillance video showed that Moton had arrived in the parking lot, shielded by the other vehicles, about 30 minutes before Barnes left the school building, said Detective Sgt. Bill Rademacher of the Avondale Police Department.

Sarah Chillous of Omaha, legal guardian for two of Barnes' three children, said Moton and Barnes' relationship began in 2001.

The two met through Moton's sister in Omaha, and Barnes eventually followed Moton to Arizona.

Their fights — Moton was arrested in 2007 after Barnes' nose was broken — drove her back to Omaha in 2010.

But Chillous said Barnes was miserable.

She had two children with Moton, and the allure of reuniting their family drew her back to Arizona in 2011.

“Kesha was a very tortured soul,” Chillous said. “She wanted to be loved, and he preyed on that weakness of hers.”

Thomas Moton lived in Nebraska as a child. After his mother, Annie Moton, 38, was shot and killed by her boyfriend in their Omaha home in 1991, he moved to Arizona with his sister.

Jackie Grayson of Omaha, Moton's cousin, said family members in both Phoenix and Omaha worried about the couple's relationship.

“Family kept telling her to leave him alone,” Grayson said. “And this last time, he just snapped.”

Barnes' children, LaMeka, Cierra and Da'Von, currently live with Chillous, their godmother.

“They're doing excellent, considering the circumstances,” she said.

Contact the writer: Anna Gronewold

Anna.Gronewold@owh.com    |  

Anna is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln fellow who writes for news.

Read more related stories
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Threat found in Millard West bathroom deemed 'not credible'
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Nebrasks health officials to advertise jobs via drive-thru
Coral Walker named Omaha police officer of the year
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
After all his bluster and bravado in the courtroom, Nikko Jenkins found guilty of 4 murders
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Gov. Heineman signs water bill; sponsor calls it 'landmark legislation'
Senate candidate Shane Osborn to include anti-tax activist Norquist in telephone town hall
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Attorney: Man accused of trying to open plane's door needs psychiatric evaluation
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »