Brian Cohee: Where Is Warren Barnes’ Killer Now?

Brian Cohee
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Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder. Reader discretion is advised.

YouTube’s EXPLORE WITH US documentary Parents Discover Teen Son’s Horrifying Secret recently covered the Brian Cohee case. According to The Daily Sentinel, 21-year-old Cohee attacked and murdered a homeless man named Warren Barnes, 69, in 2021. He then dismembered Warnes’ body and hid the victim’s head and hands in a closet. His mother found the body parts and called police.

In 2023, a jury convicted Cohee of first-degree murder for killing Warren, tampering with a dead body, and tampering with evidence. He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole despite pleading insanity. Moreover, Cohee admitted that he wanted to murder homeless people as nobody would miss them.

According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, Brian Cohee is serving time in the Buena Vista Correctional Complex.

How was Brian Cohee linked to Warren Barnes’ murder?

Brian Cohee murdered Warren Barnes on February 27, 2021, while he was sleeping near Crosby Avenue in Grand Junction. Barnes was a homeless man who lived outside downtown businesses. After murdering the 69-year-old, Cohee dismembered his body and took the parts home. He reportedly hid the victim’s head and hands in his closet and stashed the rest of the body in his car trunk. He later attempted to drive the vehicle into the Colorado River to dispose of the evidence, per UNILAD.

The outlet reported that Cohee’s mother, Terri, discovered Barnes’ remains in the closet, which linked him to the crime. She then called the police, who arrested the 21-year-old on March 1, 2021. Body camera footage and interview videos with investigators showed Cohee openly admitting to the murder.

Brian Cohee confessed that he murdered Barnes’ believing that nobody would miss a homeless man. He admitted to killing Barnes with a kitchen knife. He had reportedly been plotting to murder someone for about six months before the incident and was specifically targetting a homeless person or prostitute, believing no one would miss them.

Per KJCT-TV, Cohee had an extensive history of mental disorders such as depression and was also diagnosed with level 1 of autism. He pleaded not guilty to murder and other related charges by reason of insanity in Barnes’ murder case.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinal reported that Brian Cohee stood trial for Warren Barnes’ murder in January 2023. Reportedly, the prosecution had alleged that Cohee confessed to planning the murder of a homeless person, which showed that he understood the consequences. Moreover, after committing the crime, he attempted to get rid of the victim’s body. State psychologists who looked into Cohee’s case as part of his insanity plea determined that he was not insane when he committed Barnes’ murder.

Meanwhile, Cohee’s attorneys argued his mental health disorders, which included major depressive disorder, ADHD, and autism, combined with environmental stressors, triggered him when he saw Barnes. Following this, he killed the man. The defense’s psychologist stated that Cohee experienced a psychotic episode as seeing Barnes triggered him. This psychologist declared him insane.

Following a 12-day trial, a jury deliberated for nearly two days before finding Brian Cohee guilty of first-degree murder. The jury also convicted him on one count of tampering with a deceased human body and another count of tampering with evidence, stated UNILAD.

Prison records show that Cohee received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He remains incarcerated in the Buena Vista Correctional Complex.

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