Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lawyers, Guns and Whiskey

A reprimand and probation has been imposed by agreement approved by the Arizona Presiding Disciplinary Judge.

For purposes of the agreement, the parties stipulate Mr. Barnett knowingly became intoxicated and discharged a firearm inside his residence. His knowing conduct violated his duty to the public. There was actual and potential harm to the public. His conduct caused a bullet to strike a neighbor’s window and caused approximately $2,000 in damage. While no one was injured, his conduct created the possibility of serious injury or death. The presumptive sanction is suspension.

Mr. Barnett drank approximately three liters of whiskey. The neighbor heard a loud sound coming from the area of her master bedroom. Upon searching that room, the neighbor found a bullet had penetrated the pane of her bedroom window. When Mr. Barnett eventually surrendered to the police, it was found that he had fired several shots from a handgun within his home.

Mr. Barnett was charged with a Class 6 Dangerous Felony. He entered a plea agreement with the State by which he pled no contest to Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm a Class 6 Non-Dangerous Undesignated Felony. The Court accepted the plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation. The parties agree there are no aggravating factors. The parties stipulate there are multiple mitigating factors and stipulate that these mitigating factors warrant a reprimand.

The mitigating factor of remorse is best exemplified by actions that objectively demonstrate the claimed remorse. Mr. Barnett has established his extreme remorse by his checking himself into an alcohol treatment center and upon completion of that treatment, residing at a sober living facility. It is reported he was a role model and now regularly attends AA meetings. He is compliant with his terms of probation with the Superior Court.

(Mike Frisch)

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