Marion Christopher Barry, the son of Ward 8 Councilmember Marion S. Barry Jr., violated a pre-sentencing agreement by testing positive for drug use. At a superior court hearing today, the U.S. Attorney’s office revealed that a routine test by the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) showed traces of marijuana.
The hearing follows Christopher Barry’s April 16 arrest for operating a vehicle registered to his father without a valid drivers’ license. According to court records, Barry was pulled over at 4:25 a.m. in a blue Mercedes-Benz 180E by an officer who observed the car had one headlight out. Barry was unable to produce a drivers’ license. (Barry’s lawyer claims he does in fact have a valid D.C. license.) The registration he produced was valid, but the police report indicates the vehicle was supposed to carry the tag DCC0WD8—special Ward 8 councilmember tags. At the time of the arrest, the car had tag CB4707. According to the arresting officer’s report, “The tags were removed from the vehicle and placed into evidence due to the fact that they did not belong to the vehicle and were not registered.”
In March, Loose Lips reported that CSOSA officers had fouled up Christopher Barry’s supervision following his arrest on charges he assaulted a police officer. His pre-sentencing agreement called for him to undergo regular drug treatment and testing, but a miscommunication between the CSOSA and the court’s Office of Pre-Trial Services meant Barry was not tested and had no supervision after entering into a pre-sentencing agreement.
During the time he was unsupervised, Barry voluntarily completed a drug-treatment program at a Ward 8 mosque.
Barry failed the first drug test that was administered after he was assigned to CSOSA, according to a report presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allessio Evangelista in court today. His tests have come up clean since April 11. The failed test could have allowed the U.S. Attorney’s Office to proceed with sentencing. The office allowed Barry to continue to proceed with his supervised release.
Judge Harold L. Cushenberry told Barry that the failure of the court to properly supervise him as part of the pre-sentencing arrangement “was not your fault.” But he then admonished Barry for taking advantage of the court’s mistake. “As soon as you were tested, you got positive [drug] tests,” said Cushenberry. “From my standpoint you need to deal with this issue seriously.” The judge said it is up to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to decide how to deal with Barry, but “if it was up to me, I would put you in intensive drug treatment.” Cushenberry said the U.S. Attorney’s Office could have requested he proceed to the sentencing phase of the trial. Instead, Barry was released under CSOSA’s supervision pending another court appearance on June 5.
Barry was represented by At-Large D.C. Council candidate A. Scott Bolden. After the hearing, Bolden said he is “very confident” his client will not test positive for drugs again. He also said the arrest on the vehicle charges was unusual. “But for him being who he is, it is not an arrestable offense,” says Bolden.
Barry’s father did not attend the hearing, but his mother, Effi Barry, sat in the back of the courtroom. She and her son left the courthouse through a back exit and did not speak to reporters.