Ex-con Jassen Barnes sentenced to life in slaying

Mother of Justin Thomas: 'We can go to sleep in peace'

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of Justin Thomas, 22, burst from the courtroom in tears after a judge sentenced her son's killer to life in prison.

"It's over. We can go to sleep in peace," exclaimed Leslie Cornelius. "To God be the glory."

District Judge Maria Teresa Herr had just sentenced Jassen Barnes, 34, to life in prison for the July 22, 2011, shooting of Thomas.

Thomas was gunned down as he stopped by his mother's apartment for a pre-birthday visit.

She testified that she heard the shots and dashed outside.

Cornelius said her son died in her arms.

"It felt like I can see him from birth again as he was brought into this world," Cornelius said. "Only thing different is that I won't be able to see him take his next step any more."

Cornelius said that she was pleased with the life sentence and wished Barnes peace.

"My heart goes with him," she said. "May he go in peace. May he be in peace."

Barnes, who has already served prison time for assault, burglary and drug convictions, must serve 30 years before parole is a consideration.

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