On March 15, 2015, 54-year-old Cheryl Silvonek died in the driveway of her Pennsylvanian home after being beaten, strangled and stabbed in the neck multiple times.
21-year-old Fort Meade Soldier Caleb Barnes and his then 14-year-old girlfriend, Jaime Silvonek, have been found guilty of murdering Jaime’s mother, Cheryl, after driving home from a concert together in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
In a taped interview Barnes claimed that after arriving at the Silvonek home the two began having sex once Jaime’s mother had left the vehicle. When Cheryl came back and found the two in the act she became enraged and he killed her in self defence.
In February Jaime pleaded guilty to the homicide and was jailed for a minimum of 35 years to life. During her plea hearing she admitted that she lied to Barnes about her age saying that she was 16. Authorities reported that she also tried to convince Cheryl that Barnes was 16 too.
Prosecutors alleged that both Jaime and Barnes were responsible after uncovering deleted text messages between the couple conspiring to murder Cheryl, according to NEWS.com
“I have the knives picked out.” A disturbing text from Barnes to Jaime a week before Cheryl’s death.
Barnes feared he might lose his job if Cheryl Silvonek told the authorities about his age and during his testimony on Friday, Barnes shocked the jury when he claimed he helped Jamie dispose of the evidence because she had just told him she was pregnant.
When the trial opened in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh County Court last Tuesday, Barnes’ lawyer, Richard Webster, claims he had no role in the murder and told the jury that Jaime was a “liar, manipulator and wanted her mother dead.” Webster also went on to admit that Barnes did help clean up the crime and bury Cheryl’s body.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Dimmig told the court that Barnes made a full confession to police after his arrest and Lehigh County Detective Richard Heffelfinger also testified that not only did Barnes admit to stabbing Cheryl but he provided multiple reasons for doing so.
A week prior to the slaying Jamie’s then-best friend, who remains anonymous as she is a juvenile, testified that she overhead at least two conversations where Jaime and Barnes discussed killing Jamie's parents. The girl said that by the end of the conversation “he became more open to the idea,” reports The Morning Call.
Caleb Barnes will be sentenced on September nine.