|Ex-Corrections Officer Never Doubted He Would Be Acquitted|
|By Henderson Gleaner|
A former Jefferson County, Kentucky, corrections officer who was found innocent in the 1998 death of an inmate said he never doubted he would be acquitted.
The trial of Timothy Barnes, 34, in the death of Adrian Reynolds ended October 16.
'When your life lies in 12 other people's hands, yeah, you have to be worried,' Barnes said recently. 'But from the facts and all that were there, the evidence that was there, there was no doubt in my mind I was coming out of there.'
Asked what he would want to say to Reynolds' family, Barnes and his attorney, Steve Romines, both said Barnes is sorry.
Reynolds' mother, Ann, could not be reached for comment.
The inmate's family has had no comment since a jury in Lexington acquitted Barnes on a charge of murdering Reynolds, 34, in a struggle with officers at the Jefferson County Jail.
Barnes, who was the only officer charged in Reynolds' death, said he feels like a scapegoat. He then thanked Romines and also thanked the jury 'for seeing the actual whole picture.'
The incident involving Reynolds began after Barnes entered the inmate's cell to remove a bedsheet from around Reynolds' neck. 'We had a very combative inmate (who) was trying to hurt himself,' Barnes said.
As Reynolds was being removed from his cell, he began struggling with corrections officers. The struggle continued into the hallway outside the cell.
Barnes contends he gently put his foot on Reynolds' head to prevent the inmate from biting another officer. Testimony at the trial indicated that Reynolds attempted to bite Jeffrey McClellan, one of the officers involved in the struggle.
Prosecutors alleged, however, that rather than placing his foot on Reynolds, Barnes stomped on the inmate's head, causing a fatal injury.
Barnes was indicted on a murder charge about two months after Reynolds' death. A Fayette County jury deadlocked in Barnes' first trial in 2000.
Now, Barnes said, he wants his job back as a corrections officer and still hopes to someday become a policeman.
Barnes said the union for corrections workers is leading his effort to be reinstated. The Jefferson County corrections chief, Michael Horton, said Monday, however, that he will fight that effort because Barnes placed his foot on Reynolds' head in violation of jail policies. 'We have never condoned anything like that,' Horton said.
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