Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in trooper slaying case

Tuesday, February 15th 2005, 4:52 pm
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday they plan to seek the death penalty if they win their case against a man already serving 30 years in state prison for the death of a state trooper.

Kenneth Eugene Barrett, 43, faces three federal counts tied to the Sept. 24, 1999, slaying of Trooper David "Rocky" Eales during a drug raid.

A federal grand jury indicted Barrett last year on charges of using and carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime that resulted in a death, using a firearm during a crime of violence and trying to avoid apprehension by intentionally killing a police officer who was acting in the line of duty.

U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling wrote in Tuesday's filing that the death sentence was justified because of factors that included intent, premeditation and the threat of future violent acts.

Barrett's trial is set for July 11 in U.S. District Court in Muskogee.

State prosecutors had charged Barrett with first-degree murder, but jurors in Sequoyah County convicted him last year on a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter.

A previous Sequoyah County first-degree murder trial ended in a deadlocked jury and was declared a mistrial.