News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

July 24, 2013

Despite admission, man found not guilty of crime

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man who admitted at trial to carrying a handgun as a felon was found not guilty of possessing a firearm by a Vigo County jury on Tuesday evening.

Lance Barbee, 34, began sobbing as Judge John Roach read the jury verdict following more than two hours of deliberation in Vigo Superior Court 1.

Barbee had been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a class-B felony, after he called 911 on Jan. 7, 2010, to report that a masked man had just held a gun to his ex-girlfriend’s at her Seventh Avenue residence.

During testimony in his trial, Barbee admitted that he took a silver handgun from his ex-girlfriend after her assailant ran off, and that he then drove around the neighborhood looking for the suspect. He said he knew that he was not supposed to possess a gun because of a 1998 conviction for attempted robbery that occurred when he was 17 years old.

But Barbee stated in court that he was afraid for the safety of his ex-girlfriend, and he wanted to find the person who held a gun to her head. He said that even though he took the gun with him, he did not fire it or point it at anyone.

The 12-person jury heard from several witnesses, including:

• Terre Haute Police Lt. Jeff Milner, who said he retrieved the handgun from Barbee’s vehicle when Barbee returned to his ex-girlfriend’s residence after not finding the suspect.

• The ex-girlfriend, who said that Barbee interrupted the attack by the masked man by walking in the door as the man held a gun to her head. She said she retrieved the gun from her closet, loaded it and gave it to Barbee on her porch.

• Detective Rick Decker, who said that during an interview at police headquarters following the incident, Barbee did not indicate that he was afraid for the safety of his children, ex-girlfriend or himself when he took the gun.

• And Barbee himself, who became tearful as he told about encountering the suspect, and agitated by the questioning of Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts, who Barbee said twisted the meaning of his words in telling about the incident.

Roberts questioned Barbee on why he would leave his ex-girlfriend to go looking for the suspect, after Barbee stated that he already felt guilty for backing out of her residence and leaving her on the floor when the gunman reportedly pointed a handgun at Barbee, who had interrupted the attack on the ex-girlfriend by entering the front door of her residence.

Roberts said that Barbee’s initial reaction to the incident is understandable, but once the attacker fled the scene and Barbee called 911 to report the incident, he set out on a vigilante mission to catch the “bad guy” rather than wait on police to arrive.

“It’s at this point that the defendant commits a criminal act,” Roberts said of Barbee leaving the scene with the handgun. “He takes the law into his own hands.”

Defense attorney Steven Blakely said Barbee was acting in self-defense and in defense of his ex-girlfriend and children because he thought the suspect might come back and he wanted the person caught.

“I did as much as I felt was necessary,” Barbee said, pointing out that he did not lie to the police when questioned about having the gun. He also noted that when he saw a possible suspect at a nearby convenience store, he did not use the gun. He said he soon realized when the possible suspect turned around that he was not the man from the home invasion.

“Even when I thought I saw him, I didn’t reach for the gun. I reached for the phone and called 911,” Barbee said.

Barbee was arrested on the night of the home invasion. He was released on his own recognizance after appearing in court and being ordered by Judge Michael Eldred not to possess a weapon under any circumstances.

Since that January 2010 arrest, Barbee was arrested on a marijuana charge, which remains pending.

Following the jury verdict, Roberts said that he appreciates the service of the jury and their consideration of the facts of the case.

“We always respect the verdict that a jury brings back,” he said.

Defense attorney Blakely said he was relieved by the jury’s verdict.

“It was the right result. I try cases all over, and people in Vigo County tend to be far more sensible and have more common sense than anywhere else,” he said, crediting attorney Misty McDonald with assisting the defense.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@

tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.


 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Earl Elliott report1 copy.jpg Report: City‘s general fund to remain in red

    The city’s general fund balance on June 30 remained deep in the red, even after Terre Haute received its twice-yearly property tax check from the state.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • MET 072314 INTERN 01MILLER.jpg Interns, getting foot in the door, bring diversity to workplace

    Shanya Tompkins interviewed with Coldwell Banker-Troy Helman Realtors, anticipating an eight-week, part-time summer internship.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • MET072514dance porter.jpg Everybody get up and dance now

    National Dance Day promotes dancing as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Man arrested after rollover kills teen girl

    A Terre Haute man has been arrested and a teenager has died following an alcohol-related accident early today.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business. in the late 1980s.

    July 26, 2014

  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Aftermath, Artillery Shells Hit Donetsk Jury Awards Ventura $1.8M in Defamation Case Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News