POMEROY — A Meigs County man serving a 14 year prison sentence for aggravated vehicle homicide will not get a new trail after a ruling by Meigs County Common Pleas Judge I. Carson Crow.
Richard Barnhart Jr., 32, was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide and four other felony charges in relation to the crash and the death Jesse Carr during a jury trial in late January.
Nearly a month after the trial Barnhart’s then attorney Charles Knight filed a motion for a new trial based on a newly discovered witness.
Barnhart’s newly hired attorney K. Robert Toy argued that motion at a hearing earlier in April, calling Warren Chase Payne to the stand as the new witness for the defense.
Payne, according to the motion for a new trial, had seen Carr and Barnhart just before the crash and could place Carr in the driver seat rather than Barnhart.
On the witness stand, Payne was not certain as to the time he saw the two on the night of the crash, only that it was dark, and had a small amount of doubt as to the day of the meeting.
In making the ruling, Judge I. Carson Crow stated in an entry, “Mr. Payne, the newly found witness, testified to so many inconsistencies that his testimony is deemed by the Court to be irrelevant, immaterial and other deficient. Mr. Payne admitted that some of the statements in his sworn, deficient affidavit were false. Mr. Payne stated that though already notarized before his signature was taken that said affidavit was to be changed. Per testimony, said affidavit was not changed. Mr. Payne did not know what time he allegedly saw the Defendant. Additionally, Warren Chase Payne was not for sure that he saw the Defendant. Additionally, Warren Chase Payne was not for sure that he saw the Defendant on the date of the crash.”
“The Defendant has failed to provide any credible, newly discovered evidence from a credible witness. Therefore, the Defendant has failed to meet his burden because the Defendant cannot establish that the alleged newly discovered evidence discloses a strong probability or even a minuscule probability that it will or would change the result if a new trial is granted. As the Defendant has failed to meet his burden, this Court cannot and will not grant the Defendant a new trial,” Crow’s entry continues.
While the motion for a new trial was denied, an appeals case has already been started with the 4th District Court of Appeals in the case.
Barnhart is currently housed in the North Central Correctional Institution.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.