GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — No flowers, no pictures of remembrance, no memorial at the site Warren Barnes was brutally murdered while sleeping and trying to stay warm against the cold winter night of February 27th, 2021. Now, only litter and books blow in the wind.
Right across the street, 21-year-old Brian Cohee Jr, the man admitting to the gruesome murder, dismemberment, and mutilation of his 69-year-old victim sits awaiting his fate in courtroom eleven at the Mesa County Justice Center.
Two weeks of heart-wrenching testimony including the defendant’s mother reliving the horrific moments nearly two years ago when she found a rotting human head in her son’s closet, the evidence so disturbing it brought jurors to tears, details so graphic we can’t share them with the public, and finally, years of psychoanalysis from a multitude of psychologists trying to make sense of Cohee’s tormented mind to answer how could this happen.
The jury finds Cohee guilty of murder in the first degree, for two counts of tampering with a deceased human body, and for tampering with physical evidence. Terri Cohee said upon walking out of the courtroom, “I would just like to express our family’s deep and sincere sympathies to the community and family of Mr. Barnes.”
Brian Jr told investigators he chose a homeless victim he assumed no one would miss. He was wrong. No memorial where Warren spent the last terrifying moment of his life. Instead, it’s here, in the breezeway between 5th and 6th streets in downtown Grand Junction right next to the book and bridal shops where Warren would immerse himself in a good book, missed and remembered forever by friends who loved him most and called him “The Reading Man.”
Brian Cohee will hear his sentence on Monday, February 6 at 9 am at the Mesa County Justice Center.