crime

A Springfield man who led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit through multiple counties in June of last year was sentenced Monday, July 1, in Polk County Circuit Court.

According to online court records, Norris Eugene Barnes, 43, pleaded guilty to class E felony resisting arrest, class D felony first-degree child endangerment, class A misdemeanor tampering with evidence, class B misdemeanor disturbing the peace — first offense and class C misdemeanor littering — first offense. A third felony charge — class E felony operated vehicle without a valid license — was dropped.

Polk County Associate Circuit Judge John C. Porter suspended Barnes’ felony sentences through a plea deal and ordered him to serve five years supervised probation. Barnes was sentenced to pay fines related to his misdemeanors, totaling $700, and was ordered to pay $300 to the law enforcement restitution fund.

According to the probable cause statement, Barnes was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol on June 10, 2018, after a trooper observed him driving southbound on Mo. 13 near the U.S. 54 exit, the statement said. He was driving a black BMW convertible at a “high rate of speed.”

When the trooper tried to stop Barnes near the St. Clair and Polk County lines, he was traveling 84 mph. Barnes eventually reached a top speed of 102 mph in the pursuit, the trooper said in the statement.

A 1-year-old boy, “not fastened in a proper restraint for his age,” was in the backseat of the car, the statement added.

While in pursuit, Barnes opened his window and dumped “a large amount of marijuana out of a plastic bag onto the highway,” along with four bags of white crystal substance, the statement said.

Barnes stopped near Mo. 13 and Mo. 32 after driving over spike strips placed by a Bolivar police officer, and was subsequently arrested, the statement said. 

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