Former Kidnapping Suspect With Litany of Violent Offenses Let Go on DUI

Coarse and extensive criminal records aren’t enough to halt a judge from making a poor decision. In the case of thirty-three-year-old John Thomas Barrs, the judiciary rings hollow yet again with a distribution of personal recognizance bond for a July 5 Driving Under the Influence charge. And this isn’t his first rodeo with law enforcement.

Mr. Barrs’ DUI P.R. Bond, July 5

John Barrs has accumulated a nefarious body of arrests littered with violent crimes and other offenses conducive to community harm, particularly saturated within the North Charleston community.

In the year of his first-ever arrest in Charleston County in 2008, Mr. Barrs was shipped to the Al Cannon Detention Center on a charge of Criminal Domestic Violence 2nd, which was ultimately dropped.

Between December 2009 and January 2010, he was taken in for an identical offense of Burglary Second Degree. Less than a year after the above two arrests, Mr. Barrs was jailed for a charge of First Degree Assault and Battery by Mob. And four days later, he was booked for Contempt of Court.

2014 was the year that produced a duo of Mr. Barrs’ most serious crimes to date: Kidnapping and Criminal Sexual Misconduct First Degree. Relating to the count of Kidnapping, his disposition was categorized as Nolle Prosequi. And for the latter offense, he plead guilty to a lesser degree of Assault and Battery First Degree less than three years later.

Mr. Barrs’ Kidnapping and CSC Arrest, June 2014

Throughout 2016, 2017 and the first half of 2018, there are no listed arrests for Mr. Barrs. But in November 2018, he was back in jail again for yet another violent offense — Assault and Battery Second Degree — which posted $35,000 bond amount.

With a brief overview of Mr. Barrs’ criminal record, we have now arrived to his most recent arrest of DUI within his hometown of North Charleston. And an ill-advised decision was bound to take place before he even stepped foot into Bond Court, citing endless cycles of treachery to the rule of law by Charleston’s anointed magistrate judges.

The mandate supported by the Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is clear: To minimize a jail population plagued by violent and other egregious offenders by releasing these threats back into mainstream society without paying anything to get out — and lacking incentive to appear in court.

This poses numerous issues on principle — including general safety — by making sly suggestions to repeal a system filled to the brim with disproportion, while kindly failing to mention the benefits this repeal is providing to bad actors such as John Thomas Barr. And no substantive change will ever be attained if we don’t take action now.

Sign onto Charleston Jail Watch’s very own “Take Action” prompt that permits you to express your concerns to the Lowcountry’s elected officials and representatives. Every signature counts — you can make a difference in the community.

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