A man slashed his throat in the courtroom following a theft conviction. Terry L. Barnes, age 55, was convicted of stealing $160 worth of products from an Oregon Home Depot store.
Barnes reportedly passed through Clackamas County courthouse security, including an X-ray machine, with a partial razor blade.
As reported by Oregon Live, Judge Michael C. Wetzel sentenced Barnes to 180 days in jail for the theft. Barnes then pulled out the blade and slashed his throat open in the courtroom.
Deputies present in the courtroom called 911 and attended to the wound. Barnes was transported by OHSU Hospital for treatment and is reportedly listed in fair condition. He has been ordered to complete a mental health evaluation.
Representatives of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office contend that Barnes was thoroughly searched according to their standard procedure. They maintain that Barnes, and his wheelchair, were manually searched and his belongings were X-rayed.
Court employees state that despite the breach, they are confident in the current security procedures.
As reported by KPTV.com, Barnes later admitted that he carried the blade fragment into the courthouse in his mouth. The broken blade was reportedly very small. Barnes stated that he slashed his throat because he felt that he was being sentenced to death. He expressed that he was afraid he would “suffer” while incarcerated.
As the sentencing hearing was disrupted before completion, Barnes will be scheduled to return to the court after he has time to recover. A “peace officer hold” has been placed on Barnes, requiring the hospital to notify deputies of his release.
Barnes is no stranger to the criminal justice system, and he has been incarcerated more than once. Some of his previous convictions include possession, failing to report as a sex offender, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Barnes will remain in the hospital until his wound heals and he can be evaluated to determine what may have mad him slash his throat in the courtroom.