The family of a man killed while being held hostage at a Phoenix funeral home has filed a federal lawsuit seeking the court to delay the scheduled July 26 memorial service for his father.
Barnton, a 29-year-old construction worker, was shot to death by his girlfriend, Amanda Miller, who said she mistook him for a burglar.
Miller is scheduled to go to court to plead not guilty, but a federal judge has already ruled that her lawyers cannot present evidence that could convince a jury that she shot Barnton.
Barney Miller was killed during a robbery attempt by a female armed with a knife.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court says the shooting should not be held up by the judge’s ruling.
The U.K.-based charity that helps families of fallen soldiers is also seeking to have the ceremony delayed to allow the family to present evidence it says would prove Miller had reason to fear for her life.
The funeral home where Barnton was killed, Barnton’s funeral home, is scheduled for July 26 in Phoenix.
Miller said she had no intention of shooting Barnton when he came in for a check-in, and she did not know he was armed.
The two argued over the phone before Barnton left, and when Miller confronted him, he told her to leave him alone, according to the lawsuit.
Barrington’s father, Jim Barnton, said his son had a hard time getting out of his car and getting out a safe.
The suit says Miller told Barnton she feared for her safety.
Barrettons father, who works in the construction industry, said he never imagined his son would die.
The lawsuit says the two were “extremely close” and had been texting for hours before Barrington got into his car.
The suit says Barnton told Miller that he didn’t have a gun and was scared because of her.
Barnton went to the bathroom to get his medication, the lawsuit said.
He went back into his vehicle and Miller got out a knife, grabbed his head, and said, “He’s going to kill me.”
Barnton went back to his car to pick up his medication and when he got there, he saw Miller grab a kitchen knife and put it in his mouth, the suit says.
He said he was about to die and yelled for her to get the gun out.
Miller tried to fight her off with the knife, but Barnton pushed her back and she grabbed his throat and pulled his throat out, the complaint says.
Barntons father said his father was holding onto the knife when Miller pulled out the knife and stabbed him in the chest.
Barndons father told the court his son was unarmed, but the lawsuit says he was not wearing a helmet, a belt, gloves, or a body shield.
Barrentson was taken to Phoenix Hospital and pronounced dead at 3:20 a.m. on July 18.
His body was taken by a state police helicopter to the Phoenix-area morgue, where he was pronounced dead.
Miller has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and attempted murder charges.
She remains jailed at the federal courthouse in Phoenix pending trial.