Man accused of assault on police officer to appear Thursday

Joel Barnes, 40

A Morgan Hill man facing a litany of felony and misdemeanor
charges will appear in court Thursday for his most egregious
alleged offenses.
A Morgan Hill man facing a litany of felony and misdemeanor charges will appear in court Thursday for his most egregious alleged offenses.

Joel Barnes, 40, evaded sheriff’s deputies three times last summer as they attempted to arrest him on warrants for felony false imprisonment and assault, and ran from Morgan Hill police on one occasion, prosecutors said.

Barnes provoked deputies into shooting at him while he escaped their capture by driving his truck at them, police said. The chase ended two days later, when deputies cornered Barnes at a home in Watsonville. Barnes again ran from police but a SWAT team and canine officers found him hiding inside nearby bushes.

Barnes has yet to enter a plea on the charges, which range from misdemeanor battery to felony assault on a police officer and various weapons charges, including possession of a machine gun, carrying a concealed dagger and possession of a weapon commonly known as a sap. His misdemeanor charges will trail the felony charges, including the most severe offense, the assault on a police officer, prosecutors said.

The charges carry more than 20 years of possible prison time.

The number and sheer variety of charges Barnes faces have prevented him from entering a plea at previous hearings.

Barnes served 11 years for voluntary manslaughter after killing the mother of his child with a single stab wound to the chest in 1995.

Although Barnes will next appear in court 8:30 a.m. April 1 in Department 110 at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill, the case may be continued again, attorneys said.

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