Maria Rodriguez-Barnes, 30, has been charged with first degree premeditated murder

By Harriet Sokmensuer
April 08, 2020 05:20 PM
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Credit: Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office

A Florida mother has been charged with murder after she allegedly shot her infant son in the chest before turning the gun on herself in an attempted suicide.

Maria Rodriguez-Barnes, 30, has been charged with first degree premeditated murder in the March 25 death of her 5-month-old son Jaxxon Rodriguez-Barnes, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Facebook.

Jaxxon was discovered dead inside the back of his mother’s pickup truck by deputies when a crew of workers called authorities. The workers had seen Barnes outside her Nissan pickup truck shortly after she shot herself in the torso.

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During a search of Rodriguez-Barnes’s truck, which was in the parking lot of a local tourist attraction, deputies found Jaxxon, shot once in the chest, seated in the left rear floorboard of the truck, slumped over a pillow.

Rodriguez-Barnes survived her attempted suicide. Deputies recovered a 9 mm handgun, shell casings, and handwritten notes inside her car.

Before the incident, Rodriguez-Barnes had texted and emailed family members with her plans. Attorney and plea information was not available Wednesday. Rodriguez-Barnes is being held without bond in Okaloosa County Jail.