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Flying high in court

  • Barnes
    William D. Barnes
Published June 25. 2014 11:43AM

A Lansford man was jailed Tuesday after he appeared in Carbon County court at a guilty plea proceeding under the influence of controlled substances.

William D. Barnes, 36, was scheduled to plea in before Judge Joseph J. Matika to one count each of criminal mischief and simple trespass.

He was charged by Lansford police with an incident on Jan. 28 at 10 W. Ridge St. A more serious charge of burglary was to be dropped in a plea bargain.

When Barnes arrived in courtroom 2 on the third floor of the courthouse, it was apparent to court personnel that he was under the influence of something. Staff members informed Matika.

Matika called Barnes before the court and asked if he had consumed any alcohol or drugs before coming to court.

At first Barnes said no, but when Matika said he was going to order the adult probation office to conduct a urine screen, the defendant admitted taking "one Percocet" Monday night. He also claimed he did not sleep all night because of coming to court.

After the urine screen was completed Barnes returned to the courtroom. Probation Officer Kimberly Cooper said the screen showed the presence of oxycodone and methamphetamine and other substances in the defendant'ssystem.

At this point Barnes said he was a drug addict and needed help.

Matika looked at Barnes, who was unsteady with his head bobbing, and told him, "Ben Franklin couldn't fly a kite as high as you are now."

Matika remanded Barnes to the Carbon County Prison for contempt of court.

Barnes' case was rescheduled for June 30.

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