Former Trigg sheriff

Jason Barnes

Former Trigg County Sheriff Jason Barnes was arraigned in Trigg County Circuit Court and has a pre-trial conference scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 12 before Trigg County Circuit Judge C.A. Woodall in the circuit courtroom.

Barnes, who resigned his position as sheriff effective Aug. 31, appeared before Woodall for his arraignment Sept. 9 on charges of tampering with a witness and on unlawful transaction with a minor in the third degree.

A warrant of arrest for Barnes was issued and served Aug. 21, and a cash bail of $2,500 was posted on that same day. A Trigg County grand jury returned an indictment against Barnes charging him with knowingly making a false statement, or practicing any fraud or deceit with intent to affect witness testimony, Barnes having known a person might be called as a witness in an official proceeding.

The indictment states that this offense took place May 14 in Trigg County.

Additionally, the second count of the indictment states that, on Feb. 28 in the county, Barnes committed the offense of unlawful transaction with a minor third degree when he “knowingly gave or procured any alcohol or malt beverage in any form to or for a minor” while acting in a capacity other than a retail licensee.

The first count of tampering with a witness is a Class D felony, while the second count of unlawful transaction with a minor is a Class A misdemeanor.

Trigg County Judge-Executive Hollis Alexander had received a letter early last month notifying him of Barnes’ intention to resign as sheriff.

The former sheriff did not say in the letter why he was resigning, but his office had more recently been the subject of a criminal misconduct investigation involving both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kentucky State Police.

A member of the KSP, Brett Miller, is listed in court documents as a complaining witness in the ongoing case against the former sheriff.

Barnes had won election to the county’s top law enforcement post in 2018, defeating incumbent Trigg County Sheriff Ray Burnam in the primary election.

He previously had been a police officer with the City of Hopkinsville.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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