By: Diane Benjamin
The Justin Barr saga began when I received a tip about his arrest in Will County. I did this story: https://blnnews.com/2019/01/12/lexington-guy-arrested-in-joliet-he-has-history-here/
People claiming to be victims of Barr’s started appearing everywhere! Many could not get justice through the courts because their State’s Attorneys believed these cases should be civil instead of criminal. I can tell you Don Knapp, the McLean County State’s Attorney, didn’t believe that.
Eventually charges were brought against Barr not only in Will County, but McLean, Woodford, Livingston, and Marshall counties. What happened this week is a result of McLean County taking the lead.
It appears the agreement was for Barr to enter a guilty plea in McLean County to one felony. All of the other counties will drop charges in exchange for restitution to his victims. At least in some of the cases the bond posted by Barr to get released from jail covered the restitution. If bond didn’t cover restitution Barr had to hand over a check at court.
Below is what happened this week in Will and Woodford counties. The other two counties are still pending. Both screen shots are from the Circuit Clerk sites.
The website shows fee/fines of $7,350.00. Nolle Prosequi means there wasn’t a prosecution. Barr was originally charged with numerous felonies ranging from Class 2 to Class 4. Barr had two victims in Will County.
I do know the victim in Woodford County has checks for the full amount – $8,989. The Circuit Clerk’s office shows fines and fees of $500. Barr was originally charged with a Class 3 felony. The felony was dismissed according to the deal McLean County put together.
Livingston County is March 6th. Marshall County might be March 11. I know some victims in other counties had to beg their State’s Attorneys to prosecute.
McLean County put the deal together so victims would get their money back. Barr will forever be a felon. I know some victims would have liked to see jail time, but that could have meant they would never see their money.
If Barr violates his probation he will land in jail.
Thanks to WEEK for doing a story that was picked up by other media, without credit to me of course.