Arrests Made in Easter Morning Break-in

Arrests Made in Easter Morning Break-in
By: Carly O'Keefe

One Pulaski County family is relieved that two men are in jail on charges of home invasion and residential burglary following an Easter morning break-in at their home.

"The thought is still in my head but I'll sleep a whole lot better knowing they're locked up behind bars," said Ragina Barnett of rural Pulaski County.

The Barnett family says it was a rude awakening Easter morning when two men, 45-year-old Leo Welch of Wyatt, Missouri and 27-year-old Kevin Banks of Tamms, Illinois broke into their home, tied up their children and held the family at gunpoint.

"The objective of the perpetrators was to steal furniture and whatever else from the victims in this home," said Pulaski County State's Attorney Grayson Gile.

Gile says evidence shows the home invasion was planned, the Barnett family was specifically targeted, and the suspects may have had their eyes on more than just the Barnett's home.

"It was also our understanding that there were other targets that had been identified, but of course they were thwarted in this first attempt," said Gile.

Larry Barnett believes the men may have targeted his home because of his partial paralysis.

"They knew I was incapable of doing anything and that might be one of the reasons they decided to pick this house," said Larry Barnett.

The family says this isn't the first time they've heard of Kevin Banks. Ragina says he was aquatinted with one of their relatives, and had been to the home in the past.

"Families ought to be careful of who you let come around your home. Because if you don't really know them, they might be checking you out," said Larry.

Prosecutors say because the men used a handgun in the home invasion, an additional 15 years may be added to the 6 to 30 year prison sentence associated with the crime.