New trial requested in fatal crash case

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — A motion for a new trial has been filed after new evidence has come to light with regard to the recent conviction of a Pomeroy man on aggravated vehicular homicide charges.

Defense attorney Charles Knight filed paperwork on Monday asking for a new trial for Richard Barnhart Jr., as an eye witness has come forward after reading about the case in The Daily Sentinel.

“This motion for a new trial based upon newly discovered evidence conclusive to the innocence of the defendant is submitted within 120 days of the date of the rendering of the verdict,” states the motion filed by Knight.

Also attached to the motion is the affidavit of Warren Chase Payne, who was with Barnhart and Jesse Carr minutes before the crash, according to his affidavit.

“Mr. Payne, while on the road and at home (in Ravenswood), has only access to local news through Facebook where he reads often the Pomeroy Daily Sentinel. Three days after the trial herein concluded, Mr. Payne read that Richard Barnhart Jr. had been found guilty of this accident and Mr. Payne knew that it was impossible for Richard Barnhart Jr. to have been driving, having personally placed Richard Barnhart Jr. in the passenger seat and observing personally Jesse Carr in the driver’s seat,” stated the supporting document filed by Knight.

Knight states that Payne’s affidavit is conclusive proof that Barnhart was not operating the vehicle which sustained the accident and from which Carr sustained life-ending injuries.

“Said testimony conclusively proves defendant Richard Barnhart Jr. was in the passenger seat and not operating the vehicle in any manner or form and therefore did not cause the accident or the death of Jesse Carr,” states Knight.

In his affidavit, Payne states that at the foot of Horner Hill at the intersection of Zion Road and State Route 143 he saw a black Audi stopped near Zion Church. Recognizing the vehicle, he stopped and saw Barnhart and Carr outside the vehicle.

“I asked if they needed any help and Jesse Carr replied that he was ‘taking Richie home.’ We all talked for a minute or two and I noticed Richie was intoxicated and I asked Jesse if he was going to drive. Jesse replied ‘he was going to drive’…..I observed Jesse get in the driver’s seat and Richie was in the passenger seat,” states Payne in the affidavit.

Payne stated Carr turned left and he turned to the right. The crash occurred .4 miles from the intersection.

After reading about the outcome of the trial, the first he learned of the case as he had since moved from the area, Payne contacted Knight to provide his information regarding the night of the crash.

Payne stated he had not been contacted by anyone investigating the matter before making contact with Knight.

Barnhart was found guilty of five felony charges in relation to the crash and the death of Carr. He was sentenced to serve 14 years in prison.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.