EXCLUSIVE: Family of former ANC Commissioner speaks out on murder arrest of his partner

- Police have arrested the boyfriend of a former ANC Commissioner murdered in Prince George’s County last month.

Antonio Barnes was found stabbed in the parking lot of his Beltsville apartment complex on Evans Trail on March 14.

“It was sad,” Destiny Barnes, the victim's sister, told FOX 5 in an exclusive interview on learning about the arrest. “But at the same time, we are happy that we can hopefully get justice for ‘Tonio.”

One month after his death, instead of getting a headstone, the Barnes family is hoping to get a conviction.

Destiny Barnes said 23-year-old Canaan Peterson and her 27-year-old brother were always together. 

“Antonio was always with his partner,” she added. “24/7. The love that he had for his partner was amazing.”

That’s why she believes it was strange Peterson was nowhere to be found on the night Barnes died. He didn’t try reaching out to the family when word got out.

“That was his best friend,” said Destiny. “He was somebody who was always with [Antonio]. So why wasn’t he with him when he died? Antonio died alone.”

Investigators believe Peterson stabbed Barnes during an argument.

Peterson is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, carrying a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure and reckless endangerment.

Destiny Barnes estimates the couple was together anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half.

“When we met [Peterson], he was an amazing guy,” Destiny said. “It just felt like he was very challenged. You know, I feel like everyone deals with things and demons in their life – you never understand someone else’s situation. He needed help. Maybe Antonio tried so hard to help him, but he couldn’t help him.”

As of now, it remains a mystery what the two were fighting about. Investigators have not elaborated to Barnes’ family.

“We will find everything in court,” Destiny Barnes lamented. “I feel like that is bad because we are family. So we are sitting on the edge of our seat hoping to find out what happened to Antonio.”

Destiny said her family is thankful they have a chance to find justice for the former ANC Commissioner’s murder, but it’s a long road ahead.

“My mom has to be dragged in and out of court just so she can have justice for her son, and me to have justice for my brother,” she explained. “We will be there every court date, every trial, everything dealing with the case. We will be there standing strong because ‘Tonio has an army of warriors behind him.”

Peterson is due back in court on April 25.

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