BANGOR, Maine — The arraignment of an Ellsworth man who exchanged gunfire with police during an overnight standoff that ended when he was shot in the face last month was delayed Tuesday for two weeks because of the defendant’s health problems.
Jeffrey Paul Barnard, 50, was scheduled to plead not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a federal gun charge. The hearing was continued until Aug. 4 after Barnard told U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison that he was having trouble focusing on what was happening in the courtroom.
“I’m pretty confused, your honor,” Barnard told the judge. “Since I was shot, everything’s a blur. My vision is not good. I can’t focus no more. It’s like I’m totally in a daze.”
Barnard was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On Tuesday, Barnard entered the courtroom using a wheeled walker. The left side of his face appeared to be swollen and drooped slightly. He no longer wore the bandages on his neck and left eye he had at his first appearance June 20 in federal court.
Barnard was shot by Maine State Police Trooper Scott Duff on the morning of June 1 after a lengthy standoff with police that included Barnard holding a .22-caliber rifle, threatening to blow up his camper with a can of gasoline and throwing a Molotov cocktail, Ellsworth police Lt. Harold Page said.
“Officers recovered a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with a loaded magazine and a round in the chamber” from inside Barnard’s camper, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court on June 19 by Special Agent Tyler Leighton of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“They also found 70 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition, spent .22-caliber shell casings and a Molotov cocktail-type explosive device.”
Barnard has a lengthy criminal record that includes federal, Maine and California convictions, as well as prior police standoffs.
Originally charged in Hancock County with theft, assault, criminal use of explosives, possession of a firearm by a felon and reckless conduct, District Attorney Carletta Bassano said late Tuesday afternoon that Barnard no longer faces charges in Hancock County.
Barnard was shot in the face in the early morning hours of June 1. The standoff was precipitated when police issued a criminal threatening summons to Barnard on May 30 and served him with a protection order, Page has said.
The landowner of 303 North St., where the Barnards lived in a camper, then complained to police about 8 a.m. May 31 that Barnard had stolen the keys to a tractor. Officers went to the scene to investigate, and the confrontation with Barnard began immediately, Page said.
If convicted on the federal charge, Barnard faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.