I Am A Killer: Will David Barnett ever be released from prison? Fans think he's not responsible!
Screenshot: I Am A Killer S2 E2 - Netflix

I Am A Killer: Will David Barnett ever be released from prison? Fans think he's not responsible!

The second season of I Am A Killer premiered in 2020 on Netflix USA and it was recently released on Netflix UK.

Documenting the oftentimes bizarre crimes of convicted killers – who have admitted to their crimes – the docuseries takes a deep dive into their motivations and reasonings, following the logic of what drove them to murder.

So, what happened with David Barnett, who was featured in the second episode?

Fans are adamant he should not be behind bars, so will David ever be released from prison?

Screenshot: I Am A Killer S2 E2 – Netflix

Who is I Am A Killer’s David?

David Barnett had far from an easy childhood. The episode opens with David explaining: “My mother did not want me when I was born.”

Bouncing around from foster home to foster home, David did not settle with a family until he was 7 years old, when John Barnett (an unmarried computer teacher at a school) adopted him. Although this adoption offered David the promise of a happier and more stable life, things took a deep dive south when John began to abuse David, physically and sexually.

When David turned 9 years old, John adopted two more sons who he also abused.

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David confides in his grandparents

One of the only safe havens for the Barnett children was at their adoptive grandparents’ house, who lived two doors down.

Clifford and Leona Barnett had no knowledge of the abuse their grandchildren were suffering at the hands of John, until one day, David decided to share the reality of the situation.

On February 4th, 1996, 18-year-old David told Clifford and Leona what was happening. This was the day he murdered both of them.

In the episode, David’s best friend explained: “He told them what John had done to him, what John had done to Eric [his adopted brother] and it just did not go the way David thought it was going to go.”

David revealed that when he told Clifford and Leona what had been happening, and they didn’t respond in the way he had hoped, he blacked out during the attack. David said:

I went into a state of overkill, of manic rage. I lost consciousness and killed two innocent people.

Will David ever be free from prison?

In 1997, David was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and considering he lived in St. Louis, Missouri where they have the death penalty, he was placed on death row.

However, as the extent of his abuse at the hands of John had been reported and concurred by others, lawyers revisited the case.

In 2019 – 22 years after David had been imprisoned – he was taken off death row. Yet David is still serving a life sentence without the chance of parole at Potosi Correctional Centre.

David intends to appeal this charge and hopefully obtain parole so he can “be a productive member of society.” And fans of the show couldn’t agree more. Many have taken to Twitter to share their repulsion at the treatment of a suffer of abuse, no matter the crime he committed.



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