Trial canceled for Barnes; Garbutt trial rescheduled

A jury trial for a man charged with attempted murder, robbery, and with four counts of reckless endangerment has been continued yet again.

Javontez Denane Barnes had been scheduled to go to trial on Monday. Court records show that Judge Richard Hagar issued an order on Monday to continue the trial for Barnes. The state had asked to allow the alleged victim, who was paralyzed when he was shot, to testify via Skype because of his medical condition. Barnes has insisted on his right to confront his accuser directly at trial and refuses to agree to the man testifying via electronic means. Hagar wrote in his order that the trial must therefore be continued until the alleged victim is able to attend the trial to testify. No new trial date has been set. The trial has been continued at least twice before.

Barnes is charged with robbing the Cash Wise grocery store in Minot on Jan. 7, 2017, and then burglarizing a south Minot apartment, pistol whipping a woman and shooting and paralyzing a man there. He and Randolph Garbutt, who was charged as a co-defendant, had reportedly gone to the residence initially to buy marijuana from one of the residents. Barnes is also charged in a separate incident with four counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly firing four shots into an occupied apartment building on Jan. 4.

Garbutt had been promised a plea deal if he testifies against Barnes at trial. He pleaded guilty last year to robbing the grocery store and was sentenced to 10 years, with four years suspended. The state had said last year it would drop a Class A accomplice to attempted murder charge and a Class B felony burglary charge against Garbutt in return for his truthful testimony.