Atmore man murdered

Published 11:37 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
Patricia Burkes sat quietly on the front porch of her Golden Road home Monday afternoon still in shock following the murder of her son, Barrett Finney.
Two deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office had just finished updating her on the investigation behind the Saturday night stabbing, which claimed her son's life.
"It's pure hate," she said. "It was just meanness, malicious. Very seldom did he leave this house. He was a nice guy and so respectful."
Sunday afternoon, friends and family gathered in Burkes' front yard paying their respects and reminiscing about their loved one whose life was taken all too soon.
"He was easy going, fun and real smart," Burkes said as she fought back tears. "When he talked to an adult it was always 'Yes ma'am' and 'No ma'am'."
Finney's friends best described him as the life of the crowd – someone who enjoyed life and loved his family. Burkes agreed.
"He got it from me," Burkes said. "He was a chip off the old block."
She said the girls thought highly of her son too.
"The girls just loved him to death, the phone wouldn't stop ringing," Burkes said. "He had a pretty smile."
Finney was stabbed in the chest around 9:48 p.m. Saturday night following an altercation in front off his mother's home located at 145 Golden Road, where he resided. According to Burkes, her son approached a group of people attempting to park in his front yard and asked them not to. That's when she said her son was stabbed.
"They were having a party next door," she said. "We wouldn't let them park in the yard."
Finney was transported to the hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced dead.
"A suspect has been named and he is being sought for questioning at this time," said Escambia County Sheriff's Office investigator Adam Johnson in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
In the aftermath of her son's murder, Burkes said she is relying on the Lord to help her make it through the heartache. She shared many stories about her son with family and friends some that made her laugh and others that made her cry.
"Before Barrett was born, on that Thursday, I was supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner with some friends, but I got those Braxton Hicks contractions, so I went to the hospital and didn't get to eat all that dressing," Burkes said, a smile peaking through. "I teased him about that all the time. I told him that he kept me from eating my Thanksgiving dinner. He used to tell me he would make it up to me."
Finney graduated from Escambia County High School in 2002. He played tuba in the marching band and played center on the Blue Devils' basketball team.
"He was one of the best," Burkes said.
Finney recalled the first time her son slam-dunked the basketball. She said it is a summer she'll never forget.
"He used to try every year to try to dunk," Burkes said. "The first summer he learned how to dunk, boy, he was up above, and you couldn't touch him. He was so excited."
Finney's body has been transported to the Department of Forensic Sciences in Mobile for an autopsy.
Escambia County Sheriff's Office Investigator Adam Johnson is requesting that anyone with information regarding this case contact the Sheriff's Office at 251-368-4779.

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