Richard Barnhart, Jr., walks across the courtroom to take his seat next to his attorney, Bob Toy. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

POMEROY, Ohio – A motion for a new trial in a vehicular homicide case has been denied by Judge I. Carson Crow

According to the decision filed with the Meigs County Clerk of Courts, Judge Crow issued the decision that the defendant, Richard Barnhart, Jr., had not brought enough new evidence to warrant a new trial.

Barnhart was convicted of vehicular manslaughter following a two-day trial for the incident on Jan. 13, 2017 in which the black 1998 Audi sedan driven by Barnhart and passenger Jesse T. Carr, 26, also of Pomeroy, were traveling on State Route 143 crashed. Carr died at the scene. According to testimony and evidence presented at the trial, Barnhart had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .269. The legal limit in Ohio is .08 BAC. Barnhart was convicted on five counts: one count of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a felony of the first degree; one count of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a felony of the second degree; Vehicular Manslaughter, a first degree misdemeanor; and two counts of Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence, a felony of the fourth degree. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison by Judge I. Carson Crow in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas.

An appeal was first filed by Barnhart’s attorney, Charles Knight, based on an alleged new eye witness, Warren Chase Payne, as to who was behind the wheel of the car. Knight, however, was replaced as defense counsel with Bob Toy. Toy represented Barnhart during an appeals hearing. It is the decision of Judge Crow that the “eye witness” was not enough to warrant a new trial. Meigs County Prosecutor James Stanley pointed out throughout the hearing the inconsistencies in Payne’s testimony.

According to the decision, “The evidence at trial showed that the Defendant was the operator of the vehicle that crashed and the the Defendant killed Jesse Carr. That evidence included the fact that the Defendant was found in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, hanging over the steering wheel, and partially ejected through the windshield in front of the steering wheel; the Defendant admitted to being the driver when he stated to first responders, “I fucked up, didn’t I?”; and the passenger side of the vehicle was obliterated while the driver’s side of the vehicle was essentially unscathed, which illustrates that the driver of that vehicle lived and the passenger died.”

The motion for the new trial was entirely based on the testimony of Payne. Judge Crow stated in the decision, “Mr. Payne, the newly found witness, testified to so many inconsistencies that his testimony is deemed by this Court to be irrelevant, immaterial and otherwise 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 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.”

“I’m glad the court reached the appropriate conclusion in this matter and denied the defendant’s motion for a new trial. The jury rendered a just verdict in January. Justice was served at that time. The defendant failed to produce credible evidence that warranted that verdict to be set aside. With the court’s decision today, justice continues to be served,” said Stanley of the decision to deny the appeal for a new trial.

Barnhart continues to serve the 11 year sentence.

For more information, click on the links below of previous stories on Meigs Independent Press concerning this case.

Questions Arise Concerning Vehicular Homicide Case, Hearing on Motions Held