19-year-old Brian Cohee II pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to murder and decapitation of homeless man

Brian Cohee II Mug Shot
Brian Cohee II Mug Shot(KKCO / KJCT)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:22 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - 19-year-old Brian Cohee II pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder and decapitation of 69-year-old Warren Barnes.

According to the arrest affidavit from the Grand Junction Police Department, Cohee had a troubled past, suffered from mental disorders, and was interested in “death and morbidity.” In his interview with investigators, Cohee reportedly admitted to killing and decapitating a homeless man.

He reportedly told investigators, he had been thinking of killing a person for six months, and routinely would drive around at night watching homeless camps. He told investigators he had been planning to kill a homeless person or a prostitute because doing so wouldn’t draw much attention.

During his interview, Cohee also reportedly admitted to killing Barnes with a large kitchen knife. Allegedly Cohee stabbed and decapitated Barnes, dismembering his body and placing some of the remains in a large plastic bag, he then drove home and stashed the remains in his bedroom closet. After doing so, Cohee allegedly traveled back to the crime scene and loaded the other remains into the trunk of his car and drove to the Blue Heron Boat Ramp near the Redlands to dispose of the remains in the Colorado River.

The homicide occurred on Feb. 27, 2021 and Cohee was later arrested for the murder on March. 1.

According to the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, Cohee entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity/mental condition. Cohee will now undergo a state evaluation based upon his plea. At this time, the prosecution procedures have been halted.

His case will return for review on June 2 at 9 a.m.

A trial date has not yet been set.

Read our previous articles about Brian Cohee II:

  1. Human remains found in a plastic bag in Grand Junction, 19-year-old arrested, says GJPD
  2. Grim details emerge from killing of homeless man in Grand Junction
  3. Investigators searching for remains in Grand Junction killing of homeless man
  4. Court hearing held for Brian Cohee II, who police allege killed local Grand Junction man
  5. Man accused of murder appears in court

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