Avondale man sentenced to life in prison for Kenner couple murders

An Avondale man who was convicted last month of murdering a couple in their Kenner home was sentenced Thursday (Feb. 8) to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Shaun Barnett, 30, received the mandatory sentence for his conviction of two counts of first-degree murder. Barnett killed Dawn Scott, 28, and Raynell Kimbrough, 31, as they lay in their bed of their Idaho Street apartment early on the morning of April 4, 2016.

Barnett, who was friends with the couple, shot Scott in the head, as an infant lay beside her. He then shot Kimbrough in the head and then in his body, according to evidence presented during the trial. On the way out of the second-floor bedroom, he shot Scott once more, in the torso.

A child who was asleep in the home heard the gunshots, saw Barnett run down the stairs and later found the murdered couple. The child escorted his younger brother out of the back door and alerted a neighbor, who investigated and called 911.

Members of the Scott and Kimbrough families wrote letters to the court in lieu of providing live impact testimony, including Kimbrough’s 7-year-old daughter, who said her father’s death has left her “mad and sad.”

“You hurt my heart before anybody else had a chance to,” the child wrote in the letter, which a prosecutor read aloud during the sentencing hearing.

Kenner Police Department officers connected Barnett to the crimes using cell phone data, the license plate recognition system, DNA and other evidence.

A Jefferson Parish jury on Jan. 26 convicted Barnett as charged of two counts of first-degree murder and of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Barnett was barred from possessing guns because of numerous convictions of property and narcotics crimes.

After denying defense attorneys’ motion for a new trial Thursday and hearing Barnett proclaim his innocence, Judge Lee Faulkner of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced the man to two life sentences – one for each victim – and to 10 years for the firearms offense. He ran the sentences concurrently.

Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Lynn Schiffman prosecuted the case.