Barrett appears in crowded courtroom, ordered held without bond

Thursday, September 30th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) -- The man accused of killing Oklahoma
Highway Patrol Trooper David W. "Rocky" Eales has been ordered
held without bond pending his preliminary hearing in December.

Kenneth Eugene Barrett, 38, of Sallisaw made his initial court
appearance Wednesday in a small Sequoyah County courtroom filled
with law enforcement officers About 60 troopers as well as Eales'
widow, Kelli, and his partners on a tactical team attended the
court session.

Special District Judge Dennis Sprouse ordered Barrett held and
set a Dec. 6-7 preliminary hearing date.

Barrett is accused of first-degree murder in Friday's death of
Eales, who was part of a 10-member tactical team going in to serve
a search warrant for methamphetamines at Barrett's small home just
west of Sallisaw. The troopers were also serving a warrant for
Barrett's arrest for failing to appear for a jury trial on a charge
of unlawful delivery of a controlled drug.

Barrett also is charged with three counts of shooting with
intent to kill for shots fired at three other troopers. Trooper
John "Buddy" Hamilton was wounded.

Hamilton attended the arraignment along with other members of
the tactical team and Mrs. Eales. They sat in the courtroom's empty
jury box.

District Attorney Dianne Barker Harrold has told the court she
will seek the death penalty. She also is studying whether
additional charges should be filed.

Barrett, who was wounded by a trooper returning fire, remained
silent during the court appearance. He answered "Yes sir" when
Sprouse asked if he understood his rights.

Barrett was represented by Silas Lyman of the Oklahoma Indigent
Defense System.

Barrett's 18-year-old son, Toby, has been released from custody
pending further investigation. He was found outside the home
following the shooting.

Members of Barrett's family also attended the hearing. Barrett's
brother, Ricky, was angry. He said his brother long suffered from
psychiatric problems and was addicted to methamphetamine. He said
police fired the first shots and that his brother returned fire.

Kenneth Barrett told Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigators that
he returned fire after he was shot at.

Authorities have said Eales and Hamilton were fired upon as they
pulled up to the house and may have been hit before they were even
able to get out of their vehicle.

The district attorney said she is waiting for results from
ballistics tests and crime scene reports before looking into the
possibility of amending charges against Barrett to reflect possible
actions against the rest of the troopers.

The Drug Enforcement Agency continues to process information and
evidence gathered by the search warrant that authorities attempted
to carry out.