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Prelim continued for correctional officer accused of sex with inmate

Joshua D. Barrett was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case

August 17, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A preliminary hearing for a correctional officer at Eastern Regional Jail accused of having sexual intercourse with an inmate was continued Tuesday because his attorney was unaware he had been appointed to the case.

Joshua D. Barrett, 27, of 125 April Lane, Hedgesville, W.Va., was arraigned July 29 on one felony count of imposition of sexual intercourse or intrusion on an incarcerated person.

The day he was arraigned, Barrett was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case, according to Terry L. Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.

Miller was unable to say when Barrett was hired.

An inmate told authorities last month that she had a sexual encounter with Barrett on May 22 while she was cleaning a holding cell at the jail, according to court records.

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Upon being asked by Barrett to perform a sexual act with him, the inmate told authorities that she consented on the condition that Barrett would get her some pills and cigarettes, according to court records.

Barrett, according to the inmate's statement, agreed, court records show. The inmate said they also engaged in a second sexual act shortly after the first encounter, according to court records.

Attorney B. Craig Manford was appointed Monday to represent Barrett, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Saunders.

Barrett's arrest happened nearly six years after he was sentenced to a year in jail after being charged with causing a car wreck that led to two deaths in 2001.

Barrett had been charged with two counts of driving under the influence causing death, but agreed on June 15, 2004, to plead guilty to two counts of DUI causing injury, according to court records.

Kyra Heleine, 19, of Falling Waters, W.Va., and Tristan A. Ashby, 21, of Martinsburg, were killed in the single-car wreck on Cherry Run Road in Hedgesville on Sept. 4, 2001, according to court records.

Police have said the 2002 Ford Explorer in which the three were riding was going more than 80 mph when it ran off the road and hit a tree. Barrett's blood-alcohol level at the time was .114, records show.

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