The Charge>: Attempted Distribution of Methadone
The Record>: On June 9, Henry Barnes “did unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally distribute a quantity of methadone, a schedule II narcotic drug controlled substance.” According to Barnes’ lawyer, Daniel Harn, “Barnes was working at the time of the events. He was unable to get his methadone because of his work schedule, and he purchased the methadone. He sold a pill of methadone to a friend who was unable to get methadone for himself.” In 2006, Barnes was arrested and convicted for similar charges.
PLEAS FOR MERCY
Lawyer>:: “Unfortunately, there is a gray market out there for people that aren’t able to get into treatment for whatever reason,” says Harn. “He sold the pill. He was caught selling the pill, and he pled guilty to selling the pill. My client promises this court that if he is [given] probation, he will continue with his legal methadone treatment and not help other people get drugs illegally. I respectfully submit that locking my 60-year-old client up at this point would not make the community any safer.”
Judge>: Judge Robert Richter states that Barnes’ lawyer from two years ago probably made an identical plea during Barnes’ last sentencing for a similar charge. “He wouldn’t have said [Barnes] was 60, but he would have said he was 58.”
Lawyer>: “Your honor, I think that it’s as true now as it would have been in 2006,” replies Harn.
Judge>: “I understand how the market works out there—and you are the problem,” says Richter. “It doesn’t make you a bad person. But your inability to deal with your own problem has created a problem for others.”
The Sentence>: Four months in jail with 14 more months should he violate his probation. Two years of supervised probation, plus three more with a violation.