Cleveland man guilty of killing girlfriend, leaving body on balcony

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 1:21 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 1:22 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Wednesday morning, a jury found Bennie Washington guilty of murder, felonious assault, and gross abuse of a corpse for the murder of Audreona Barnes, 18.

Washington’s jury trial began May 15 in front of Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge William McGinty.

Washington, 40, shot Barnes and then left her body on his second-floor apartment balcony in the 4300 block of Warner Rd. in Cleveland.

Barnes was reported missing to Warrensville Heights police in July 2021.

Family members said she had dreams of joining the Army and met with recruiters the last day she was seen.

On March 17, 2022, a manager at Washington’s apartment building entered the apartment and noticed garbage bags and blankets on the balcony. Believing there was a body hidden underneath, the manager called police, said officials.

Cleveland police responded to the scene and recovered the severely decomposed body.

Audreona Barnes
Audreona Barnes(Katie Tercek)

Washington was taken into custody on March 19, 2022.

Bennie Washington
Bennie Washington((Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff))

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.