Marietta man skips sentencing

By Jasmine Rogers

The Marietta Times

A Marietta man who hit his pregnant girlfriend and stole thousands of dollars in scrap items failed to show up for his Thursday morning sentencing in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

The no-show prompted Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth to issue a warrant for 23-year-old Jon Lee Barker Jr., last known address 126 Walker St.

Barker pleaded guilty June 9 to a fifth-degree felony count of breaking and entering and a first-degree misdemeanor count of domestic violence. The domestic violence charge, which had originally been charged as a fifth-degree felony because victim Rachel Marshall was pregnant at the time, was reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement.

Barker’s attorney, Joe Brockwell, said that up until, and even after the plea, he had been in frequent contact with his client.

“He seemed fairly communicative up until this point,” he said.

But Barker missed two scheduled appointments for his pre-sentence investigation interview after his change of plea, noted Burnworth.

Lately, Brockwell has only been able to reliably reach Barker through his girlfriend Rachel, he admitted.

“I had talked to her last week and told her the sentencing had been rescheduled and he’d missed his (pre-sentence investigation) interview and needed to get in touch with the interviewers,” said Brockwell.

Brockwell did not know the last name of the girl with whom he had been speaking. Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider could not definitively say if it was the same Rachel who was the victim in the domestic violence case.

In addition to the warrant, Schneider requested the woman’s contact information.

“It sounds like she’s a material witness to a possible breach of recognizance case,” said Schneider.

Because he failed to appear, Barker now faces an additional fourth-degree felony count of breach of recognizance.

In Schneider’s opinion, the no-show also negated the agreed disposition in Barker’s case, which would have had him serve a total of 75 days in the Washington County Jail on the two charges.

Barker could also be responsible for restitution for the scrap items stolen during the breaking and entering, which occurred at a work site on Gravel Bank Road, right off Ohio 7.

The victim, URS, claimed a loss of $2,600, said Schneider.

Barker was caught trying to sell the corporation’s scrap items at a local scrap yard soon after the theft.