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Man sentenced to 29 years in Duluth Hillside murder

A judge sentenced Philbert Nathaniel Barnes to 29 years in prison for murder at an emotional sentencing hearing today. Barnes, 40, was convicted in January of intentional second-degree murder, second-degree murder while committing an assault, att...

A judge sentenced Philbert Nathaniel Barnes to 29 years in prison for murder at an emotional sentencing hearing today.

Barnes, 40, was convicted in January of intentional second-degree murder, second-degree murder while committing an assault, attempted second-degree murder, and second-degree assault in the July 2009 shooting death of 22-year-old Curtis Cooney. Another man, Ephriam "Darell" Burks, was injured in the shooting.

Barnes' brother and relatives of Cooney testified at today's sentencing hearing, and Cooney's family forgave the defendant. The judge said he took that forgiveness into account when issuing the 29-year sentence.

Guidelines call for a sentence between about 27 and 32 years. At least two-thirds of the sentence must be served in prison.

The Duluth News Tribune and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

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