Serial proxy killer
Corrupt court official
|Family|| Kelly Barnes (ex-wife; deceased)|
Robert Barnes (son)
Harlan Barnes (son)
|First Appearance||"Criminal Law"|
Leland Barnes was a mass murderer who killed his wife and three others at her workplace, and then orchestrated the murders of numerous witnesses connected to him in order to be released from prison.
Leland became an attorney and eventually married a woman named Kelly Barnes. They had two sons together, named Robert and Harlan. At an unknown point, Leland started physically abusing Kelly. Leland eventually got so angry that he purchased a gun, went to her workplace, and shot everyone in sight. He killed a total of four people and injured three more in the shooting, including Kelly. He was prosecuted by EADA Jack McCoy and was convicted on all of the charges against him after his surviving victims testified against him. Leland was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole after New York dropped its capital punishment laws.
Leland was ordered to serve his sentence at Lynwood State Correctional Facility. Later, Leland fired his attorney and represented himself when he filed an appeal to have his conviction overturned on the grounds of ineffective counsel. While he waited, he started helping other prisoners with their appeals, including his cellmates Neil Gilroy and Anton Garfield. His appeal was eventually granted by the Appellate Court, which then granted him a new trial. Leland had Garfield pass messages over to Harlan, which contained instructions to kill the witnesses and prosecutor involved in his case so no one could testify against him. Before he was transferred to Rikers Prison to argue his appeal, Leland killed Garfield to tie up loose ends and staged the death to look like a suicide.
Harlan succeeded in killing two of the witnesses against Leland, but McCoy, the prosecutor involved in Leland's appeal, is picked up by the police in time. McCoy visits Leland to confront him about the recent killings, and Leland tells McCoy that he is representing himself and has no knowledge of the killings. He then taunts them with the fact that they haven't caught the killer yet. McCoy attempts to offer a deal of consideration at sentencing if he turns the killer over to the authorities. Barnes angrily rejects the offer, explaining that McCoy ruined his life by sending him to prison. As he is being led out of the interrogation room, Leland asks McCoy what it is like waiting to die.
At his bail hearing, Leland argues against McCoy about remanding him again and files a motion to exclude the witnesses prior testimony on the same grounds he based his appeal on. The judge is hesitant to rule in McCoy's favor until he suggests holding a Sirois hearing, in which McCoy must prove Leland ordered the recent killings. If he is successful, the prior testimony can be rendered admissible, and Leland is remanded until the hearing. The police eventually find the last surviving witness, Elaine Bowman, a woman injured in the original mass shooting, and have her placed in protective custody. At the Sirosis hearing, Leland argues that the police found no evidence linking him to the murders and McCoy has no grounds to say otherwise. McCoy tries to use common sense to convince the judge, but the judge excludes the prior testimony, giving the option to hold another Sirosis hearing in case they do find any evidence.
Leland then surprises everyone when he moves to interview Bowman in relation to his case. McCoy objects to the request, while the judge suggests having Leland's standby counsel question Bowman instead, but Leland refuses. The judge reluctantly grants the motion and tells McCoy to produce their witness. When Leland questions Bowman, he subtly intimidates her into changing her story and is successful. Leland then files a motion to dismiss all of the charges against him. Though the killer is revealed to be Harlan and McCoy tries to use that to convince the judge he ordered the murders, the judge grants Leland's motion. McCoy confronts him outside the courthouse, and Leland angrily claims that he should have been at the top of the list. Suddenly, Leland's son Robert appears with a gun and kills him. (L&O: "Criminal Law")
- 1996: The office mass shooting:
- Kelly Barnes (his wife; repeatedly physically abused and beat; later killed)
- Kelly's unnamed boss (killed)
- Two unnamed people (killed)
- Sylvia Rossi (survived; was later killed by Harlan on October 26, 2005)
- Leon Whitaker (survived; was later killed by Harlan on October 28, 2005)
- Elaine Bowman (survived; Harlan later attempted to kill her, but he failed)
- Unknown date in October: Anton Garfield (his cellmate; strangled and staged his death to look like a suicide)
- October 26: Sylvia Rossi (the second Sylvia Rossi; killed by Harlan)
- October 27: The Rossis:
- Michael Rossi (killed by Harlan)
- Sylvia Rossi (the third Sylvia Rossi; killed by Harlan)
- October 28: Mrs. Whitaker (killed by Harlan)