Modified: October 6, 2014 1:15pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 25 year-old Jamire Barber of Buffalo was convicted as charged of Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree and Attempted Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, after an eight-day trial before State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Haendiges.
On July 21, 2013, Barber beat his girlfriend in broad daylight and in public view. Barber forced the victim into the backseat of his car and fled the scene before the police arrived. Barber warned the victim, “that’s what [bitches] get” and threatened her life as he sped away. Terrified for her life and in a desperate effort to escape her assailant, the victim jumped from the vehicle but her face struck the pavement causing her to lapse into unconsciousness. Barber then led the police on a chase until he was caught.
Following Barber’s arrest, the court issued of an Order of Protection in favor of the victim. This did not prevent Barber telephoning the victim several times from jail in an effort to harass and intimidate her. Nor did it prevent Barber from attempting to enlist his mother, a retired detective (who, ironically, investigated domestic violence cases). Barber’s mother contacted the victim, wishing to know whether she intended to go forward and cooperate in the prosecution of her son.
Unsuccessful in his efforts to prevent the victim from testifying, the defendant himself testified at trial, claimed the incident in question never occurred and that the victim, the eyewitnesses, and the police all fabricated their accounts. The jury didn’t buy it and convicted Barber.
Barber is no stranger to domestic violence and the criminal justice system. By the age of 25, Barber had earned two felony convictions; shockingly, both cases involved beating women in violation of Orders of Protection. In 2012, Barber was indicted for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree in connection with allegedly threatening his girlfriend, carrying an illegal handgun, and fleeing from the police. Barber’s acquittal on that charge did not dissuade the District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law and securing a conviction on these charges.
The District Attorney’s Office intends to petition the court to declare Barber is a Persistent Felony Offender, thus making him eligible for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Should the court decline to find that he is a Persistent Felony Offender, Barber faces a maximum term of seven years in state prison.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rachel Newton, who is the Chief of DA Sedita’s Domestic Violence Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Julie Fiske.