Judge Says Defendant Struggling with Substance Abuse Needs More Help 

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DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffian ordered a homicide defendant report to an urgent care clinic for in person rehab classes and ha e his pretrial release conditions reassessed during a June 12 hearing.

Terrance Barnes, 35, is charged with first-degree murder while armed. Barnes, who struggles with substance abuse, allegedly fired a gun with premeditated malice, fatally wounding Barry Homles, 57, on April 17, 2019, on the 5100 block Southern Ave, SE. 

Barnes has been mostly compliant with the court throughout his four years on release and has attempted to control his addiction through online counseling, according to court records.

According to the prosecution, Barnes tested positive for amphetamines four times in April and May, which led the prosecution to request his pretrial release be revoked.

However, according to reports from the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA), his last two tests in June were negative. 

Due to the improvement, defense attorneys Molly Bunke and David Knight insisted Barnes is no longer a danger to the community as the prosecution argues.

The defense argued that if his release is revoked, jail will only worsen their client’s substance issues. According to Bunke, this is demonstrated by “five people passing in jail from drug overdoses.”

The prosecution argued that Barnes’ testing positive along with failing to report to a drug test made him a danger to the community, as he had allegedly killed a stranger unprovoked while under the influence. 

Judge Raffinan noted that Barnes has no convictions or other pending cases, but that addressing his substance use is “vital” to him staying in the community. 

Judge Raffinan suggested that Barnes go to the clinic to sign up for help. She also ordered a new pretrial release assessment. 

The prosecution’s request to revoke Barnes’ pretrial release was denied by Judge Raffinan. 

Parties are slated to return July 9.

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