A Trigg County grand jury has returned an indictment against outgoing Trigg County Sheriff Jason Barnes, charging him with one count of tampering with a witness and a second count of unlawful transaction with a minor third degree.

The indictment was entered on Friday in Trigg County Circuit Court. An arraignment is set for 1 p.m. Sept. 9. Barnes’ bail was set at $2,500 cash.

The indictment charges Barnes 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 on 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.

The indictment was presented on Friday by the foreperson of the grand jury to the circuit court in the presence of the grand jury. It was received from the court by Trigg County Circuit Court Clerk Pam Perry and filed in open court on Friday.

The indictment is a true bill, meaning there’s enough evidence for the case to be heard. It follows an investigation of the Trigg County sheriff’s office for criminal misconduct by the Kentucky State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Barnes tendered his resignation to Trigg County Judge-Executive Hollis Alexander earlier this month. He was elected sheriff in 2018.

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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