Ellsworth man injured in shootout has history of police raids

Posted June 04, 2014, at 2:13 p.m.
Last modified June 04, 2014, at 4:29 p.m.
Jeffrey Barnard, 2011 photo
Hancock County Sheriff's Office
Jeffrey Barnard, 2011 photo

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A man with an extensive criminal history who was injured last weekend in an exchange of gunfire with police remains hospitalized and is facing a host of potential charges in connection with the incident.

Jeffrey Paul Barnard, 50, was shot and injured on the morning of Sunday, June 1, after he barricaded himself in a camper trailer located on a property on Route 179. He is accused of firing shots at police officers and throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police cruiser hours after an argument with the landowner over tractor keys quickly escalated into a standoff with police. During the standoff, Barnard allegedly held a .22 rifle and threatened to blow up the camper with a can of gasoline.

Barnard has prior convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon, at least one of which is a federal conviction, as well as convictions for other crimes. As a convicted felon, Barnard has a lifetime ban on owning or possessing any firearms.

Barnard was taken Sunday from the scene of the standoff to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to undergo surgery for injuries he received in the shootout. Lt. Harold Page, acting chief of the Ellsworth Police Department, said Wednesday morning that Barnard was still at the hospital.

Barnard’s wife, Vicki Barnard, 56, was with her husband in the camper throughout the standoff but was not hurt during the incident, police have said.

According to Page, Barnard has yet to be formally charged in connection with the incident but is facing a slew of potential charges ranging from theft and assault to reckless conduct, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and possibly more. Given Barnard’s prior federal criminal history, he may end up facing federal charges, Page said.

Don Clark, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, said Tuesday that it is the policy of the federal prosecutors not to comment on investigations or pending charges.

Tim Feeley, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, said Tuesday that the state office is involved only to investigate the shooting of Barnard by Trooper Scott Duff, who is a member of the Maine State Police tactical team and a seven-year veteran of the department. Duff has been placed on administrative leave with pay while the AG’s office looks into the incident, which is standard procedure when police officers are involved in a shooting.

Jeffrey Barnard has an extensive criminal record. Aside from the firearms convictions, he also has been convicted of violating his federal probation by using marijuana — which he has said he uses to treat chronic pain — of trespassing in California, and of assault on an officer in Maine.

Barnard also has a history of police raids at his home. In December 2000, when he lived in Millinocket, local, state and federal law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at his home on Kelly Lane after police learned he may have violated the terms of a prior federal sentence by possessing weapons.

Officers found a .22-caliber rifle, an SKS semi-automatic rifle and a pump-action shotgun in the Millinocket home, according to previously published reports in the Bangor Daily News. Federal court documents indicate that police found a loaded rifle next to his bed (without describing the rifle) and a large hunting knife hidden under the bed.

Barnard subsequently was sentenced to serve 8 ½ years in federal prison. He was released in August 2007, after serving less than 4 years behind bars, but was kept on federal probation.

In March 2009, when Barnard was living in Gouldsboro, a team of state drug enforcement officers removed 44 marijuana plants they found in a home Barnard shared with his wife. Both Barnards have said they are licensed medical marijuana users but federal officials took exception with Jeffrey Barnard’s use of the drug, which was a violation of his probation.

At the time, federal officials indicated that Barnard tested positive for marijuana use 23 times between June 4, 2009, and Dec. 22, 2009, before Maine’s medical marijuana law was adopted and made retroactive to Dec. 23, 2009. Federal law does not permit the medicinal use of marijuana.

Barnard has said he suffers from chronic pain, some of which he blames on the 2000 police raid at his Millinocket home. He has said that he had back surgery not long before the raid and that police reinjured his back. Barnard later sued the town, the county, the state and police agencies involved in the raid for $1.5 million, but the suit was thrown out after a federal judge ruled that subsequent hospital visits indicated he had not suffered any serious injuries during the raid.

Barnard also has said he suffered serious injuries to his left leg when he jumped from a balcony onto a concrete floor while incarcerated at the Cumberland County Jail in June 2010. His left leg later was amputated below the knee due to his injuries.

 

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