Barnes found not guiltyA jury reportedly found a Slope County man accused of a sex crime innocent Tuesday.
A jury reportedly found a Slope County man accused of a sex crime innocent Tuesday.
However, Jamie Barnes was not present to hear his verdict, said Nici Meyer Clarkson, Slope County state’s attorney.
Deliberation lasted about five hours, she added.
“In that period, he went back home, so he was in Marmarth,” said Jay Greenwood, Barnes’s attorney. “The judge waited for him to come back, but it started to get too lengthy, so the judge ruled that he had waived his right to be present at the verdict, so they just did it before he came back.”
He showed up about five minutes after it was read, Greenwood said.
Barnes was charged with felony gross sexual imposition. He was accused of having sexual contact in September with a girl who was 10 years old at the time, according to officials.
He disputed the allegations at a hearing earlier this year.
Meyer Clarkson is unsure how to handle the situation of Barnes not going to the hearing. It was a first for her and Greenwood.
“I’m doing some research at this point into that,” Meyer Clarkson said.
Greenwood said he doesn’t think it’s an issue, but it may have been a bigger deal if Barnes was found guilty.
“I’m glad we didn’t have to broach that topic … It’s definitely not ideal, I’ll tell you that,” Greenwood said.
Meyer Clarkson declined comment on the verdict.
“I think that’s what it should have been,” Greenwood said.