Thomas Moton's Accused of Murdering His Ex-Girlfriend at Her Daughter's Graduation Ceremony
A woman attending her daughter's middle-school graduation ceremony was killed in an Avondale school's parking lot Friday, in a shooting police believe was carried out by her ex-boyfriend.
Takesha Barnes -- a domestic-violence victim who had just taken out an order of protection against 38-year-old Thomas Moton earlier that week -- obviously feared for her safety that day, as described in court documents obtained by New Times.
During the ceremony at Westview High School, Barnes got up and asked a school security guard to escort her to her car, telling him about the order of protection against Moton.
As the security guard spotted a man apparently trying to hide in the parking lot, Barnes told the security guard it was her ex-boyfriend, according to the documents.
The security guard told Barnes to run to her car and lock the doors, and as the man -- whom police believe to be Moton -- pulled a handgun out of his waistband, the unarmed security guard retreated and yelled for Barnes to make an escape.
Barnes was shot at about five times, with several of those rounds hitting her.
Barnes was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital, while three of her family members -- who were with her as she left the school -- identified Moton as the shooter, according to court documents.
Family members said Moton's violence against Barnes had been increasing, and Moton had recently threatened to kill Barnes then kill himself, the documents state.
Moton also was arrested in 2007 for punching Barnes in the face, police note.
The scene of the shooter, allegedly Moton, pulling up to the school on his motorcycle, shooting Barnes, and riding away, was captured on "no less" than four surveillance cameras on that side of the parking lot, according to the court documents.
Moton was wanted by police for a few hours, until officers conducting surveillance on his sister's house watched Moton pull in on his motorcycle.
Moton was arrested as he left the house with his sister, and didn't speak with detectives about the shooting, according to the documents.
Moton's bond was set at $2 million after being jailed on charges of first-degree murder, felony disorderly conduct, illegally discharging a firearm, and misconduct involving weapons.
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