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Kentucky sheriff charged with giving underage person alcohol

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Aug 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-22 12:36:17-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A sheriff in Kentucky has been indicted on charges that he provided alcohol to someone underage and tampered with the testimony of a potential witness, the state attorney general announced Friday.

According to Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office, 50-year-old Trigg County Sheriff Jason Barnes faces a Class A misdemeanor charge of unlawful transaction with a minor and a Class D felony charge of witness tampering. A Trigg County grand jury handed down the indictment.

Cameron’s office says it worked with Kentucky State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney’s office to determine Barnes illegally provided the alcohol to someone younger than 21 in February. Months later, Barnes “knowingly practiced deceit with the intent to affect the testimony of a potential witness,” according to the attorney general’s office.

“Any individual who tampers with a witness and facilitates underage drinking must be held accountable for their crimes, especially members of the law enforcement community,” Cameron said in a news release.

Barnes, who has served as sheriff since 2018, is resigning effective Aug. 31, Cameron’s office said.

Barnes didn’t immediately answer a message Saturday seeking comment.