Now a “three striker,” Morgan Hill man to serve eight years

'Three Striker' Morgan Hill man will be sentenced

A Morgan Hill man who pleaded no contest to a litany of charges
ranging from assault on a police officer to misdemeanor battery was
sentenced and is now a

three striker.

A Morgan Hill man who pleaded no contest to a litany of charges ranging from assault on a police officer to misdemeanor battery was sentenced and is now a “three striker.”

Joel Barnes, 40, was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for his latest crimes but, as a three striker, could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of another felony, according to Amy Cornell, a spokeswoman with the Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney.

In August, Barnes pleaded no contest to two counts of felony resisting arrest, felony reckless driving and felony vandalism. Barnes was also facing two counts of assault on a peace officer stemming from the same event, but prosecutors dismissed that charge.

Barnes originally pleaded not guilty to these charges April 1, but changed his plea as part of a negotiated settlement with the DA’s office, Cornell said.

His charges stem from a series of events in the summer of 2009 when he evaded Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies three times 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.

He also pleaded no contest to the following series of unrelated charges in other cases that occurred in 2009: felony assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, misdemeanor battery on his girlfriend, two counts of misdemeanor resisting arrest, misdemeanor contempt of court, misdemeanor violating a protective order and misdemeanor giving a false name to a peace officer, Cornell said.

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

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