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Suspect Appears in Court for Fatal Hit-and-Run at Columbus Kroger

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- A man accused of using his car to kill a victim in a Kroger parking lot appeared in a Franklin County courtroom on Monday morning.

A judge set Montez Hollins's bail amount at $150,000 for his alleged role in the death of 34-year-old Jason Barry Sr., who died after being struck by a vehicle in front of Kroger at the Columbus Square Shopping Center.

Investigators believe Hollins struck Barry and Kristina Petree -- described by family members as Barry's common-law wife -- after an argument between the couple and Hollins's companion in front of the store on November 15.

After joining in the verbal altercation, Hollins, 24, allegedly entered his car, circled the parking lot in order to pick up speed, and struck the couple with the vehicle. Family members claim Barry jumped in front of Petree in an effort to protect her from the car.

"It was loud. You knew it was an accident, and then you see people running and freaking out, and you hear people say there are bodies on the ground," witness Ashlee Irvin said.

Medics pronounced Barry dead at the scene of the crime. Petree survived, but is expected to lose a leg because of injuries caused by the impact, according to family members.

The teenage son of Barry and Petree was also in the parking lot when the incident occurred, but was not harmed. Investigators believe he fled the scene on foot out of fear that he too would be struck by the vehicle.

Hollins's attorney claims his client acted in self-defense due to Barry's apparent possession of a firearm during the altercation.

Barry's family confirms he was carrying a gun at the time of his death, but claim he did not display the weapon, and only mentioned it in an effort to prevent the confrontation from escalating.

Barry's family members claim he carried the gun because he was the victim of an earlier robbery that occurred at the Columbus Square Kroger.
 
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