Woman Gets 15 Years to Life for Role in Brutal 2011 Concord Murder

January 2, 2014 20:41 pm · 63 comments


A 22-year-old Richmond woman accused of aiding and abetting the brutal 2011 murder of a popular young Benicia native in her Concord home was sent to prison for at least 15 years after an emotional hearing in a Martinez courtroom on Thursday.

Judge Barbara Zuniga sentenced Randi Len Dees in exchange for the defendant’s no contest plea today to a second-degree murder charge stemming from the killing of 21-year-old Shelby Elizabeth Barnes on Oct. 24, 2011.

Her murder devastated her family and friends and rocked the small, close-knit community of Benicia where she spent most of her life, relatives and friends told the court today.

At the time of her death, the Benicia High School graduate was living at a house on Glenside Court in Concord that had been owned by her father before it went into foreclosure. In October 2011, she let 23-year-old Donald Waldecker and Dees, his girlfriend, stay in the house with her, according to prosecutors.

During a preliminary hearing last year, police testified that Waldecker said he killed Barnes because he wanted to steal the deed for the Concord home, even after he was informed that the property already belonged to the bank.

Deputy District Attorney Jason Peck said Waldecker told Dees that he planned to hurt Barnes. On Oct. 24, he carried out that plan with the help of Dees and another co-defendant, then-17-year-old Jonathan Harriel.

Peck said Dees watched as Waldecker went into the victim’s bedroom where he struck her. She then saw Barnes “lying defenseless on the ground, Peck told the court.

Waldecker asked Dees to help him tie the victim up, and she handed him duct tape and helped him duct tape her body and mouth, according to prosecutors.

Then, he said, “She watched as Waldecker and Harriel wrapped Shelby in a rug and carried her down to the basement where she was murdered.”

Authorities say Waldecker bludgeoned Barnes with a table leg before slitting her throat.

Police arrested the Concord man and Dees in Richmond three days after the killing.

Both defendants and Harriel, who is being tried as an adult, were charged with murder even though Waldecker is believed to be the only defendant to physically assault the victim, according to prosecutors.

During her interviews with police, Dees repeatedly said that she never thought Waldecker would kill Barnes.

Peck said Dees participated in the murder “under duress,” since Waldecker had threatened to kill her as well.

Those factors, as well as her limited criminal record, led prosecutors to negotiate a plea deal, he said.

Before she was sentenced, her mother and sister spoke in her defense, saying that acts of violence against Dees’ own family members growing up had scarred her and that it was unlike her to intentionally harm anyone.

“I don’t know why she’s here,” her mother, Linda Dees-Wright told the court tearfully. “I love her, and she’s not a monster.”

Her attorney, Paul Feuerwerker, said Dees was “a very naïve person who had a severe drug problem” at the time of Barnes’s murder but was “far from a monster.”

Throughout the hearing, Dees dabbed at her face with tissues.

Speaking through her attorney, she offered an apology to the roughly two-dozen relatives and friends of the victim who appeared in court today.

“Ms. Barnes was truly an innocent victim who did not deserve what happened to her,” she said in the statement.

But it was statements from the victim’s friends and relatives that took up most of Thursday’s hearing.

Barnes’s family members and friends described her as a vivacious, well-liked young woman who, despite her diminutive size at 4 feet 10 inches tall, had a warm personality that made everyone feel welcome.

Some of those who spoke said it may have been Barnes’s friendly, open nature that led her to associate with Dees and Waldecker.

“She always found the good in everyone,” Barnes’s sister, Sara Royer, said.

The victim’s mother, Charlene Barnes, recalled how her daughter’s face had been so badly bashed in during her killing that the mortuary holding her body would not let her see it.

“When she was taken from us, my life was also violently shattered,” Barnes told the court. “The fact that her demise was so violent deepens the pain even more.”

Both Waldecker and Harriel are awaiting trial for their roles in the killing.

VikingPrincess January 2, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Disgusting low lives with an IQ < than a head of lettuce. No excuse for what happened, duress? Ha! Bullshee!
I spit on your family stump. Perfect rationale for mandatory sterilization. They are evil.
Story makes me sick…never should have happened. Drugs must have been involved.

Willis January 2, 2014 at 9:13 PM

So sad. A young life made unesessarily short due to greed, fueled by drugs and stupidity.

Kimbo January 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Randi Len Dees is not a victim of circumstance, she is a victim of her own decisions. One can only hope she gets the snot beat out of her in prison. Oh but wait, she can get a college degree while serving her sentence. She can wear make-up while in prison. She can get her hair done while in prison. She disgusts me……

Anonymous January 2, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Ah the Waldeckers,

Jay January 2, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Wow I’m impressed a woman actually held accountable..

No self respect January 2, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Dees is a worthless low life. She made her choice to hang with other losers and she is far from innocent. Drugs did not cause this. Lack of respect for another life and greed caused this. I hope her time in lock up will give her time to reflect the needless pain she has caused others.

I'm The Urban Spaceman January 2, 2014 at 11:12 PM

Just a tragic story all around…lives ruined (taken too) left and right..(my memory may be fuzzy)all because some MO-Rahn, thought by possessing the deed to the widder’s ranch, he would own the prop’tee free n’ clears.
I hope the MO-Rahn gets the death penalty.
Speaking of the DP(and not giving in to a for or against rant)…I finally saw ‘No Country For Old Men’…if Lethal Injection is too slow, why not use cow killing technology and just punch a bolt into the brain of the convicted? Seems quick and to the point, power wash the killing floor and be done with it as the clinical exercise it is.

Dorothy January 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

“acts of violence against Dees’ own family members growing up had scarred her” – sorry, not a valid excuse. There are too many people who have overcome horrid childhoods to become good humans.

mika January 2, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Punishment not harsh enough. . .

Beavers & Duck's January 2, 2014 at 11:26 PM

this day belongs to my shelby…and her family and friends……i had seen shelby the day b-4 we were talking about how she was denied her meds once again by the state shelbys mental health state was dependnt on them any 1 that knew shelby new if she didnt get her meds well she was tuff to deal with its not fair first she is denied help by the state so theese 2 hartless people that obiously felt killing my friend was the oniy way to handle this situation well u wiil pay now i dont think u 2 have any ideal what u have done if they did things like they had in the old days you would have been given to the family and friends and been delt with ….lucky u r

Veronica January 3, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Terrible story, my girl needs a wake up call. Too late it seems. Oh well, she will learn during the next 20 years.

duffman January 3, 2014 at 1:42 AM

“… and she’s not a monster.” Watches and helps someone murder one of the nicest people I have ever met and watches her get wrapped in a rug. Then for someone to say that she was just a naive person with a drug problem and is far from a monster is some BS. Monster is written all over people like that and there is not enough time in the world she can spend in prison to make up for what she did.

Think before you land in prison January 3, 2014 at 6:18 AM

Before you do something stupid. Drugs, drink, and kill. Rob. Whatever. Think about it. What prison would be like. What it means. If not hurting others in not enough reason, then think about your own life. 15 years? People you know will be dead before you get out. The world will be different. Your friends gone probably. Never see your family? Wife? Kids? And life behind bars? Once you do something like this it is too late. Your life is over. Unless you are young, then you can have years in prison to think about it all and get out and use the remaining years to do something. Maybe. If you survive prison. And are not raped. Murdered. Wow. The hell that would be. And all it would take is to think before you act. And not do it.

Shelly January 3, 2014 at 7:33 AM

Sorry to say mom~Yes, your daughter IS TOO a monster. What a horrible story. Glad I missed it the first time. Sorry I heard about this time.

@Beavers & Duck’s; you seem to be putting a fair amount of the blame upon Shelby for what these walking trashbags did to her. I don’t think so.

2014 January 3, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Meth is a hell of a drug!!!!!

@ Beavers & Duck's January 3, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Your spelling, punctuation and capitalization make you appear to be an idiot. Therefore anything you have to say seems worthless.

Jim January 3, 2014 at 8:28 AM

seems to always say drugs in the story and yet we legalize pot….interesting

Owen F. January 3, 2014 at 8:40 AM

OK, I’m glad she’s in prison and all, but I’m gonna come right out and say it… She is pretty hot.

The Mamba January 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Yeah, she’s a victim too. Save it. She should have gotten more time.

Keith January 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Good luck in prison where you belong. Should’ve gotten a longer sentence.

@jim January 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Interesting …. How it usually has nothing to do with pot. Like the current story. Keep tweeking Concord.

me!! January 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

OMG people what are you thinking these days its 3 after New years and look how you act, this is a horrible story, made my day really bad
,people just don’t care about others they just want to kill & kill sad :'(. @ Owen.F you are soooooooo wrong and I feel bad for u you want to marry a criminal seee people these days are really sad!:(

@Me 22 January 3, 2014 at 10:50 AM

either grow up or put your head back in the sand,,, jeez.

just1dering January 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM

@me – Owen never said he wanted to marry her, nor would I, but she is hot!

Incognito January 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Each and every one of us has a chance to say “no” and to walk away. If you chose not to, then be prepared to suffer the consequences of your actions.

Shelly January 3, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Hot is skin deep.

Shelly January 3, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Ever seen what happens to a pretty face on meth? She’s lucky she’s still young.

MikeyV January 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM


Lori January 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

To Charlene Barnes and the rest of Shelby’s family and friends, my deepest sympathies for your loss. I’m sure it is no easier now than it was the day these monsters took her life.

superdump January 3, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Hot? Really? I don’t know about hot…she looks decent for a meth head, but hot is not the right word to describe this scumbag. @Jim do you honestly believe if these people were high on marijuana alone, they would’ve committed this brutal crime? I seriously doubt that. Ill bet you watched Refer Madness and bought into that bs too right? Pot turns people into skitzo looney toons who jump out of windows to see if they can fly and whatnot…

superdump January 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Sorry, REEFER Madness, for you spelling Nazis. Lol beavers and ducks makes me look like an English major! All kidding aside, RIP to that poor girl and I really hope Mr. Donald Duchebag gets the harshest sentence the judge can allow. Scum like him and his accomplices do not need to have any chance at parole. May he rot in prison for the remainder of his pathetic life.

anonanonagain January 3, 2014 at 2:24 PM

@ Owen F and the like, ” she is pretty hot.

Wow. When I see a picture of a person who has participated in a gruesome crime their looks alter quite a bit for me. I see only evil and cruelty and a desperate look of survival that only lies and crocodile tears can extract them from a horrid situation. Certainly not one of beauty. Think of Ted Bundy and how he was able to charm his victims. Looks as they say can be deceiving and superficial and the eyes are the windows to the soul. Or lack of one…..

charlene barnes January 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

@ Beavers & Duck’s
Your comment regarding denial of Shelby’s medication has me concerned.
As Shelby’s mom I had insurance coverage on her. Shelby had 100% medical, mental and RX coverage through my employer . Could you please send me a email as to the pharmacy that denied the meds ? i will look into it. If I find out that my insurance contributed to this, then I need to take steps this does not happen to any one else. Thank you.

Paula Scott January 3, 2014 at 4:53 PM

I know the story- and it does seem so twisted that she only got a15 to life sentence. What did he get? I’m not clear. This was cold blooded MURDER of an innocent girl. Drugs are not good- but they are not an excuse for murder- this case has been tweaked by a good defense attorney. It was “pre-meditated” (they bought ducktape with them). Why such a low sentence? the idea that she could be out in 15 years is just unreal to me. She helped plan it, carry it out, and watched her boyfriend kick Shelby down the stairs and slit her throat. I am a friend of her father’s (Shelby) and I just wonder about our justice system.

How come Sheila did not get any time for her role? January 3, 2014 at 4:54 PM


JR January 3, 2014 at 5:17 PM

@ charlene barnes
I am just sorry to hear of your loss. my sympathies are with you & your family.

Fig Newton January 3, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Burn Baby Burn! What a ugly worthless tweek! I’m glad Concord Police nailed these two! Hope her days are long and boring,,miserable ,,and she never gets out!!!!!!!!!!

PawPaw January 3, 2014 at 5:54 PM

So sad. She’s so pretty. She has so much time to think over her actions. I’m sure if she ever has her own children her perspective on everything will change.

charlene barnes January 3, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Who’s Sheila ?

So sad January 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

When this story first came out they said she was pregnant. Any word on if she had the baby and who has custody if so?

Anon January 3, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Is Donald Waldecker out on bail? Between 2011 and now he appears to have managed to have spawned…


randis team January 3, 2014 at 9:58 PM

just for the record Randilen is not a monster! she knew Donald for 3 days and Shelby was her friend they were all strung out Shelby included and illegally living in a house that was in forclosure! There was no plan to kill her ever! Donald was upset because Shelby was coming down and yelling at him and calling him names he was upset and said “im gonna kill her and we can live in her house and take the deed” in which Randi said it doesn’t work that way theres papers and lawyers that have to be involved! and that is what they said was conspiracy Randi was also threatened and he threatened the rest of her family she never laid a hand on Shelby and im sorry that that girl is dead but lets call it like it is a crazy man who was violent and took 3 people down with him!

@anon January 3, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Weird! Is that the same guy? How is he free when hes the 1 that murdered that girl? Mayor can you comment do you know if that is the same guy?

randis team January 3, 2014 at 11:23 PM

he’s not free his mom updates his facebook

charlene barnes January 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

To randis team.. Read the pretrial transcripts, read the police report. She spent 3 hours blabbing off what they did. There were other evidence that was not presented since there was not a trial that clearly shows Ms. Dees involvement. They may have been high, however when a women tells a man she pregnant after 3 days, not only is he stupid for believing her, but does she not become the catalyst for the crime. After all he wanted the house for his fiancee and unborn child. So please do not assume that the entire world is so stupid that they will believe this stupid excuse. It’s very offensive to everyone.

@Charlene Barnes January 4, 2014 at 10:02 AM

You have suffered the worse imaginable loss. You should probably not even read anything here or anywhere else about it. There are evil people among us as you know. There are people who will post boatloads of crap who don’t even have a clue about what happened to Shelby. You have my deepest sympathy. I’m sure your lovely daughter is missed by many.

Anon January 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM

@Randis Team,

His mother posts updates to his fb page of him throwing up gang signs? Nice family, no wonder he grew up to be the piece of Sh%& that he is!

Art January 4, 2014 at 5:25 PM


That’s not a gang sign.
It means West Side as in the West Coast.

Fig Newton January 5, 2014 at 7:12 AM

The important thing is that Dees is gone for 15 years to life! She’s a worthless tweek! I’m sure glad the DA put her away!!!!!!!!!! She will age quickly in the joint,,then get out (Maybe) and go into the entitlement EBT program! No one would hire a piece of excriment like her!!!! I hope dees has the worst,, long, lonely, miserable days ahead of her! No driving,no nights out,no movies,no voting,no vacations,,no family,,no Christmas or holidays for her!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you CPD for your fine work in getting these criminals off the streets!

Mustang Sally January 5, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yeah, Fig Newton, amen to that. I sure do hope the other two get more than that though.

VikingPrincess January 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

@randis team
So many opportunities to do the right thing in every scenerio on this post and I am sure more if entire story was known. This is murder not robbery or burglery
Let’s see..how bout the moment then person yelled they were going to kill her? Did anyone think to run out of house screaming to call 911 when this terrible violent act started?
All wrong.

Fig Newton January 5, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I hope the family shows up to block her release everytime she’s up for parole!!!!!!!!!!!!! Randi needs to spend the rest of her sad life in prison! Freedom for her should never be a possibility! Maybe she will do something stupid in Prison, and extend her stay! This thing Randi is a threat to society with out a doubt! She can never be trusted,,,,,,,,,She ruined so many peoples lives,,Let hers be ruined too! The System should closely examine her,and not entertain any kind of release of this thing called Randi!!!!!!!!!!!!! What does it take, for someone else to get the same treatment by her again? After a 15 year stint,,i would bet she would be quite anxious to do some more crime! That’s all she knows,,,,,Prison is her new home forever! No money on the books,,no mail, no nothing for her! She needs all the Prison Privileges stripped ! The State Has spent enough money on this thing!!!!!!!!!! The End!

just1dering January 6, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and too young to know she should have gotten out!

I will put money on her books.

just1dering January 6, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I disagree Mustang.
Put yourself in her shoes.
19 years old, not very edumacated to start with, the guys she was with are nuts on drugs, she was probably scared and felt if she didn’t go along, then she may have been next target.
Still no excuse not to run out the door, but even then they would have run after her, or worse, come looking for her later.
Again, wrong place, wrong time. Once there, nothing she could have done.
This of course is not a defense, but I wish there were a better way to discipline / rehabilitate her than prison,

just1dering January 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM

10 lashes would be a good punishment, then she could LEARN from the error of her ways and not ruin her life!

Mustang Sally January 6, 2014 at 3:20 PM

I got way more lashes than 10 as a child. As an adolescent it just made me rebelious with low self esteem. Never in a million years at any age would I have ever been a party to harming someone else. No way.

15 years is a JOKE January 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

15 years? really? does the recent holiday spirit also apply to judges handing down short prison sentences to criminals now? Is this part of some unknown “give-back-to-the murdering-community-of-concord-campaign” passed by our local elected officials?

The fact is that she was an accomplice to murder, which means she did have a significant hand in the murder of Shelby Barnes. For that, she should have received a much stiffer sentence. She will still be relatively young, at 37 years of age by the time she gets out. Which gives her another good 30-40 years of living on planet earth as a free woman.

At times like this, I wish that some of our locally appointed judges resembled the likes of Kim Jong Un, instead of Santa Claus.

15 years is a JOKE January 6, 2014 at 4:25 PM

There is something that also tells me if this was an african american MAN who was charged with second degree murder the penalty would have been much, much, much, much, much, much,much, much, much, much stiffer…..

I think I am going to ask God to reincarnate me as a white girl with breasts, in my next life.

Gus January 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Well #68 at least He got the pus/y on the first try. (Sorry, you set that up)

15 years is a long time for being involved in a killing but not doing the killing. If the guy had not pressed the plan no one would have died.

Something tells me life won’t be wine and roses when she gets out. Crappy jobs, no looks to ride on, just canned soup and a cat for company. To be honest I could see a world where the parents of the murdered girl could pity her, maybe forgive her. Fifteen years from now.

Look back fifteen years, I moved to California, got married, bought a house, have had four different jobs, two dogs, four nephews added, parents fiftieth anniversary, good food, good beer, trips.

She will have a 4×8 and a orange jumpsuit. A lot more than the dead girl but she didn’t actually kill her either. I’m not saying it’s fair but her life is going to be scraps.

randis team January 7, 2014 at 12:11 AM

1 their was an African American man who stood outside with Randi and threatened her and she said he was pregnant because she thought he was gonna kill her and that’s why the da said in open court that Randi never touched her so maybe people should look up the transcripts as their public record before they speak and why did no one out of 50 best friends not try to help Shelby get clean? lets just call it like it is two girls got involved with a psycho one is gone and so is the other

just1dering January 7, 2014 at 6:59 AM

Thanks randis team.
Just as I surmised, I hope she survives prison and not come out damaged goods, she deserves a shot at a good life.

charlene barnes January 7, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Should I put the transcripts out on social media ? Then everyone will know just how involved Randi was. I do feel sorry for her, she’s a product of her social economic upbringing. As far as the 50 plus friends helping Shelby, they all tried. Not in killing her but helping her unlike Randi Dees. What I want to know is where are my daughter’s belongings ? I know some of it was found at dees home where is the rest ? Your team has already been chastised by the judge in open court. The judge found your behavior insulting to everyone present. Lets hope you show up at every parole hearing. It will make it very easy for the parole board to make the decision of denying the release. Why don’t you do your daughter/sister/friend a favor. SHUT UP. For those that want to put money on her books, please do so. The state of California Victims of violent crimes fund should be reimbursed for her failure to conduct herself as a human being.. To the nice person that suggested I stop reading these blogs. No, I will confront these idiots. Notice they haven’t answered my questions nor are they submitting any additional lies about this situation. That is other than @ randis team. May be they will stop as well. Why open Ms. Dees up for additional bad press ? Shelby was never intimate with Donald. Shelby expected more from a man than something so basic as all his teeth. Per Ms. Dees’s that’s what attracted her to Donald. So @ randis team stop hurting her if you truly care about that girl.

Shelly January 8, 2014 at 10:51 AM

@Charlene Barns, you deserve to have all of your questions answered. You deserve much more thad these POS dirtbag murderers and their “friends” could ever give you. I guess I can understand you wanting to know what they know. Please stay strong as you are, and be safe.

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