Winter Haven, Florida -- Winter Haven police have arrested a 19-year-old with an extensive criminal past in connection with the murder of a New Beginnings High School student on November 12.
Investigators say they followed cell phone calls placed from Alicia Barnett's phone. That led them to a school classmate named Antonio Donte Callaway.
Winter Haven police say Barnett and Callaway had arranged a drug deal involving what they describe as a significant amount of marijuana.
They met at the Chain of Links trail in Winter Haven on the morning of November 12, but something went wrong, say police. It likely turned into a robbery.
Barnett, they say, had been set up. She struggled, but was shot multiple times. Police believe Callaway had an accomplice, who is still at large.
Chief Gary Hester says they contacted Alicia's family in Poinciana, and says they were "shocked" to hear she'd been involved in such activity.
"That still doesn't justify her killing. And I want to make that very clear," said Chief Hester.
Relatives, he says, were saddened, but glad to hear news of an arrest.
"Sometimes folks' lifestyle decisions puts them in a position to become a victim of a crime. It still does not justify them being a victim," said Chief Hester.
Police say Callaway had at least one accomplice. A $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Tipsters can call the Winter Haven Police Department (863-401-2256) or Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) with any information regarding this case. Callers can remain anonymous.