Formerly of Stuart, man allegedly planned to shoot Patrick County judge
By Debbie Hall
A Stuart man was indicted in Roanoke on Friday for allegedly conspiring to commit capital murder in Patrick County.
Authorities allege Burdis (Berdis) Gene Barker, Jr. 44 and formerly of Stuart, intended to escape by shooting a Patrick County judge and a sheriff’s deputy during an upcoming court appearance in Stuart.
Barker is scheduled for a court hearing in Patrick County General District Court later this month on a traffic incident that occurred in April, according to online court records and Roanoke County Police Commander David McMillan.
However, while housed in the regional jail in Roanoke County, Barker allegedly communicated and conspired with an individual in Patrick County, “to try to get that person to leave a weapon in a bathroom in the Patrick County Courthouse so he (Barker) could gain access to the weapon and use it to escape,” Patrick County Sheriff’s Maj. Garry Brown said.
McMillan said police there received information around September 1, detailing Barker’s alleged intentions of escaping custody while at the hearing in Stuart.
One alleged escape plot “was to kill the Patrick County deputy who was guarding him, and kill the judge” with a pistol that someone hid in a bathroom, McMillan said. He alleged that Barker planned to retrieve the weapon from the bathroom “and use it.”
McMillan did not know if Barker is aware of the indictment. He currently is being held in the Western Regional Jail on unrelated charges.
According to court records and online reports, Barker was sentenced last month by a Montgomery County judge to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine on a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge in connection with an August incident.
Six additional charges—two counts each assault and battery of a police officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm; one count each possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm while in possession of drugs—are slated to be heard in there January, according to court records and online reports.
In Stuart, Barker was charged with failure to report an accident with more than $200 damage, court records showed. That hearing is scheduled for December13.