GOSHEN — Kenneth Barhams wore his son’s student ID card from a cord around his neck Thursday morning. He talked about the son he will never see graduate.
Barhams spoke on the witness stand in Elkhart Circuit Court. His words were heard by Jesus Macedo-Perez, the 17-year-old Elkhart resident who’d admitted to killing 16-year-old Braxton Barhams.
“Braxton was my baby,” the elder Barhams said. “...You took him from me.”
In keeping with his plea deal, Macedo-Perez was sentenced Thursday to 65 years in the Department of Correction. Circuit Court Judge Terry Shewmaker gave Macedo-Perez credit for 172 days he’d been incarcerated.
Braxton Barhams, a Concord High School student, was slain in a June 22 drive-by shooting in the area of Benham and Garfield avenues in Elkhart. Macedo-Perez, 16 years old at the time of the murder, was later charged. In exchange for Macedo-Perez’s guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to not pursue a criminal gang sentence enhancement against the teen.
A probable cause affidavit unsealed Thursday yielded details about the slaying.
According to the court document, two juvenile witnesses interviewed by police said they were walking with Barhams at the time of the shooting. A gray Impala went past the group south on Benham, with Macedo-Perez — whom one of the witnesses described as a good friend — as a passenger.
A witness told police that Macedo-Perez flashed gang signs at Barhams, and Barhams did the same in response.
The affidavit reads that the witness “stated the driver of the Impala executed a U-turn at the intersection of West Garfield Avenue and Benham Avenue and proceeded north on Benham Avenue. (The witness) observed Jesus Macedo with a large gray gun in his hand, which Jesus Macedo fired the gun (four to five) times out of the Impala in the direction of both witnesses and Barhams.”