Driver to serve 20 years for ‘facilitation’ in 2014 apartment murder

The driver in a botched drug theft turned murder is looking at a 20-year prison sentence. 

Lillian Barnett, 20, pleaded guilty to reduced charges Thursday for her role in the Dec. 23, 2014, shooting which left 19-year-old Amber Caudill dead.

Barnett’s attorney, David Ward, said an attempt at felony mediation did not lead to a resolution, and prosecutors made an offer. 

Barnett’s charges of complicity to commit murder, first-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree assault were reduced to facilitation as part of the plea agreement.

Complicity requires participation in the criminal act of an accomplice while facilitation is aiding in the commission of a crime.

The plea calls for her to serve the maximum of five years on each charge, which will run consecutively. She must serve 20 percent of her sentence before being eligible to go in front of the parole board.

In Clark Circuit Court Thursday, Barnett said she drove Lamont Wilkerson, Christopher Robinson and Aaron Stailey to the Hillcrest Apartments on Oxford Drive in Winchester that night. Barnett sais she also drove Wilkerson to Richmond the previous day to talk with Robinson and Stailey. Also gave Wilkerson one of her father’s ski masks, she said.

“It became clear to me he was going to use that mask to conceal his identity in what I thought would be a theft or robbery of some kind,” she read from a statement in court.

From prior conversation, she said she learned the other three planned to steal marijuana from Justin Meadows, who lived in the apartment. Barnett said she drove the three to the apartment complex and waited outside in the car.

Wilkerson, Robinson and Stailey all pleaded guilty to various charges and have been sentenced to 27 years, 30 years and 25 years, respectively.

During their court hearings, they said they went to the apartment. When Meadows opened the door, they tried to push Robinson, who was carrying an assault rifle, through and into the apartment. Robinson said he was shot and a shootout started. 

One bullet went through the floor into the apartment below, killing 19-year-old Amber Caudill.

Meadows and Crayvone Ritchie, who was in Meadows’ apartment, were wounded but survived.

Barnett said Robinson was the first one to return to the car, followed by the others. She said they went to Clark Regional Medical Center, where she left Robinson and drove the other two to Richmond. 

“At this point, I had no idea anyone other than Christopher Robinson had been shot,” she said. 

“I am so truly sorry.”

Barnett is scheduled to be sentenced June 8. She was allowed to remain free on bond.