Man reportedly cuts own throat in courtroom after sentencing

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: April 9, 2013, 10:35 a.m.

Media and Interested Parties


Photo: Razorblade fragment used in incident

Shortly before noon on Monday, April 8 at the Clackamas County Courthouse, a male subject produced a small piece of smuggled-in razorblade and cut his own throat after being sentenced on a Theft II conviction.

The subject -- Terry Barnes, 55, who is currently confined to a wheelchair -- had reported to the courthouse with his wife for a sentencing hearing on a Theft II conviction; Mr. Barnes had been cited for Theft II on June 25, 2012 in Happy Valley.

At this writing, it appears security operated within procedural guidelines: Mr. Barnes' person and wheelchair had been patted down and visually inspected by DePaul Security as he entered the courthouse, and his belongings and jacket had been X-rayed.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mike Wetzel ordered Mr. Barnes to be taken immediately into custody to serve a 180-day sentence. Courtroom deputies were standing a short distance behind Barnes, preparing to take him into custody.

Upon hearing the sentence, Barnes made a short declaration that he had been given a "death sentence" and began slicing his neck on both sides with a small fraction of razorblade. In subsequent investigation, the razorblade appeared to had been broken in half.  The above-linked photo reveals the small size of the piece of razorblade -- which was shorter than a quarter coin in length.

Courtroom deputies immediately radioed for medical to respond.  A courtroom deputy ordered Mr. Barnes to drop the razor, and Barnes did so, but only after cutting both sides of his neck. 
Mr. Barnes then rolled forward out of his chair onto the floor. Deputies provided direct pressure and First Aid to Mr. Barnes until paramedics arrived to take over his care and transported Mr. Barnes to an area hospital. 

Mr. Barnes is expected to survive. Deputies placed a Peace Officer Hold on Mr. Barnes -- meaning that they delivered him to mandatory hospital care and a professional mental evaluation.


News-release archive

Contact Info:

Robert Wurpes, Sergeant
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

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