Leander solo Carolyn M. Barnes spent time in two counties’ jails during the week of May 10. On May 11, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Barnes for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. As alleged in the felony complaint attached to the May 10 arrest warrant, Barnes pointed a handgun at U.S. Census Bureau worker Kathleen Ann Gittel and fired five shots on May 8 when Gittel visited Barnes’ home. The complaint alleges Barnes fired the shots as Gittel was attempting to retreat. Roger Wade, spokesman for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, says Barnes was transferred from the Williamson County Jail to the jail in Travis County on May 13 in connection with her Jan. 8 arrest for assault on a public servant. As alleged in the Jan. 8 affidavit for the arrest warrant, Barnes struck a peace officer assigned to courthouse security after the officer directed her three times to leave the Travis County Courthouse with her “weapon.” The affidavit alleges that the officer saw a “small silver colored ‘multi-tool’ with a knife blade” inside Barnes’ belongings as they passed through the x-ray machine at the courthouse entrance and advised Barnes that she needed to take the item back to her vehicle. “Although the item is not illegal, it is not allowed in the courthouse as it is a deadly weapon,” according to the affidavit. The affidavit alleges that Barnes became verbally abusive to the officer and, at one point, dialed her cell phone, stating that she was “calling the judge.” After the officer told Barnes she would have to call the judge from outside the building, she turned and struck him in the upper chest with her right hand and forearm “while exhibiting the multi tool in her hand,” the affidavit alleges. The affidavit also alleges that Barnes began to scream and threaten the officer after she was handcuffed and was verbally abusive to jail staff. Wade says Barnes was released on a personal recognizance bond, which was revoked after her arrest in Williamson County. Wade says Barnes posted a $50,000 surety bond on May 13 and was released from jail in Travis County. John Neal, first assistant district attorney in Travis County, says the DA’s office has sent Barnes’ case to the Travis County Attorney’s Office. Williamson County DA John Bradley did not return two telephone calls seeking comment by presstime May 13. Texas Lawyer was unable to contact Barnes before presstime. The voicemail on her law office telephone was full and could not take more messages, and the telephone at her residence had a continuous busy signal. Barnes’ website indicates she handles medical-malpractice and wrongful death cases.
-- Mary Alice Robbins