Diehl co-conspirator Ken Barnes dies

Local News

One of the last surviving conspirators in the plot to rob an Erie bank branch with a bomb collared around the neck of pizza delivery man Brian Wells has died.

65-year old Ken Barnes passed away in the medical section of the federal prison in Butner North Carolina.

The exact cause of death was not released but Barnes suffered with a severe form of diabetes.

The so-called “Fishing Buddy” of alleged mastermind Marjorie Diehl, Barnes was on the scene of the TV transmission tower when a bomb was collared around pizza delivery man Brian Wells’ neck.

Wells was killed when the bomb exploded after he was stopped by police after robbing the upper Peach Street branch of PNC bank in 2003.

Barnes was indicted with Diehl and sentenced to 45 years in jail but that number was cut in half when Barnes decided to testify against Diehl saying that she had solicited him to kill a former boyfriend James Rhoden and Diehl’s father.

The death of Barnes marks the last of the “major” players still living in the conspiracy, joining Diehl, Bill Rothstein, James Rhoden and others in death, for forming what has been widely considered one of the most bizarre crime stories in the history of American justice.

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