Sentencing in armed robbery in Green River
The armed robbery suspect who was involved in the armed robbery in Green River on March 12 had a jury trial on July 11 and 12 in the Seventh District Court in Castle Dale. The jury came back with a verdict which the clerk of the court read; Audie Max Barnes was found guilty on a first degree felony count of aggravated robbery, and guilty on a second degree felony charge of theft by receiving stolen property. Guilty on a third degree felony charge of failure to stop/respond at the command of a police officer.
Appointed counsel for Barnes requested that Judge George Harmond pass sentence that day. Barnes wished to waive waiting period for sentencing. Deputy County Attorney Brent Langston gave his recommendations for sentencing. He asked the sentences run consecutively as this was not Barnes' first brush with the law. He said Barnes had been to the state prison in Ohio. It was said Barnes had made threats against his Emery County lawyer. "He poses a serious danger and risk to the community," said Langston. "With this criminal history he doesn't qualify for concurrent time." Past criminal history includes: fugitive from justice in 1998, fleeing and alluding in 1999, drug trafficking and forgery, domestic violence and assault.
The defendant's counsel said the defendant has been polite, courteous and appreciative. "With his background he is not a candidate for probation, but we ask that his sentences run concurrently," said the defense counsel.
Judge Harmond asked Barnes how old he was and Barnes replied he had just turned 30 the previous day. Judge Harmond said that when Barnes has spoken to the court he is intelligent and personable. "I don't know why you have chosen this path, but I have an obligation to the people of Emery County to ensure that these things don't happen again. There are serious consequences involved and I am very concerned. You possessed a weapon which could have injured the motel clerk. The high speed chase showed a total disregard for safety and a lack of care for anyone else. I am not sure what has made you do this. I must take into consideration the safety of the people of the State of Utah."
Judge Harmond sentenced Barnes on count one the aggravated robbery charge to the Utah State Prison for a minimum of six years to life. On count two, one-15 years for theft by receiving stolen property and on count three failure to respond to officers attempt to stop, zero to five years. Barnes was also ordered to pay $400 in restitution to the owner of the car taken from Indiana and used in the high speed chase. Counts one and three will run consecutively, but count two will run concurrently with count one and three. Barnes was remanded to the custody of the Emery County Sheriff's Office for transportation to the Utah State Prison. Barnes has a 30 day appeal period if desired.
Barnes didn't seem to think he was interested in the appeal process, "What I did was wrong and I'm ready to go," said Barnes.