Day 3 in Barnum trial: Amanda Allen, daughter of Robert Allen, takes the stand

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Judge Jim Fallon arrives at the Grayson County Courthouse Wednesday morning for the second day of testimony in the Timothy Barnum murder trial.

Prosecutors continued Wednesday and Thursday building their case against Timothy Barnum for the October 31,2017 shooting death of Robert Allen of Denison.

Barnum has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Wednesday afternoon First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore presented two of his key witnesses in the case. One was the woman at the heart of the case: Amanda Allen who is Robert Allen’s daughter and she shares a child with Timothy Barnum.

First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore arrives for the second day of the Timothy Barnum trial Wednesday.

Though the two never married. They lived together for some time and had a tumultuous relationship that by October 2017 involved Tim Barnum facing a couple of domestic assault charges in state district court.

Prosecutors contend that the fast approaching trials on those cases were the reason Tim Barnum either shot and killed Robert Allen or had someone else do it for him.

The someone else, prosecutors contend is Tyrone Sommers who also faces a murder charge.

Amanda Allen testified to texts messages between herself and Tim Barnum that took place in that fall of 2017. In message after message, she testified Barnum asked her if she intended to testify against him in the assault case that could have resulted in a sentence of up to life in prison.

Amanda Allen said she had already dropped charges in one such case, and Barnum thought her father’s insistence was what was keeping her from dropping the remaining charge. She also testified that she bought the gun that prosecutors allege fires the shots that killed her father. She had given the gun to Timothy Barnum, she testified.

Timothy Barnum

Barnum’s attorney asked her if there were any actual threats against Robert Allen in those texts. Amanda Allen said there were not. The defense attorney also got Amanda Allen to say she was not at Allen Plumbing on Halloween night in 2017 so she didn’t see who shot her father.

Another one of the state’s witnesses Wednesday talked about the evidence that they do and don’t have against Timothy Barnum.

Texas Ranger Brad Oliver said there is no DNA evidence in the case and there is no fingerprint evidence that points to Timothy Barnum or anyone else as Robert Allen’s killer.

The Ranger with decades of experience called the crime scene at Allen Plumbing small and fairly uncomplicated saying Robert Allen had been shot and nothing was disturbed inside the business.

Tim Barnum’s defense attorney Laura Andrade asked Oliver a lot of questions about why certain things like dusting for fingerprints or testing for DNA wasn’t done in the Allen case. Oliver answered there was no indication that those things would have been productive in the case based on the crime scene. He said law enforcement these days sometimes does those things even though they know that they will be unproductive just because they know that jurors expect to see those kinds of things done based on what is shown on television crime procedural shows. But, not every case comes down to forensics and in this case, the forensics were not a determining factor.

Oliver said they never found the gun used to fire the bullet retrieved from Robert Alan‘s body. Previous testimony in the case revealed that the bullet pulled from Robert Allen’s body matched that taken from a car in the shooting of Herman.

Andrade asked if it were possible that in the time in between the two incidents someone else could have possessed the gun used to kill Robert Allen. After a lot of back and forth, Oliver said it was possible but not in his opinion likely.

Thursday morning, Haley Lumas testified that she and Timothy Barnum were living together on the night that Robert Allen was killed. She and Ashmore then walked the jury back through several statements that she gave to police during the investigation into the homicide. The prosecution contends that her statements put Timothy Barnum and Tyrone Somers Together on the night that Robert Allen was killed and in the general area of Alan plumbing. They say her statements about seeing dark clothing laid out on the bed along with gloves and a Scream mask support their theory of the crime.

However, Andrade asked the young woman if she so what happened at Allen Plumbing on the night that Robert Allen died and Lumas said that she did not. Her statements to police said she and Timothy Allen picked up a man she later knew was Tyrone Sommers one point that night. Statements she is alleged to have made to others even said that Sommers got in the car with them and put the revolver authorities believe was the gun used to kill Robert Allen in her lap. She said she told him to take it back because she didn’t want anything to do with it.

Under questioning by Andrade, the young woman admitted her story about what happened on that night changed after she got upset with Timothy Barnum when authorities showed her love letters he had written to another woman.

Prosecutors countered that she had already made some of those damaging statements against Timothy Barnum to others before she saw the love letters.

Testimony continued Thursday afternoon.