Pastor to Serve 11 Years for Home Invasion
(CN) - A Pentecostal pastor who broke into a parishioner's home to take him to rehab did not reject a three-year plea deal as a result of ineffective counsel, the 8th Circuit ruled, affirming his 11-year sentence.
Danny Kwami Barnes was the pastor of Thy Kingdom Come World Ministries in Wheaton, Minn.
In a self-described "misguided attempt to help a wayward parishioner" and take him to rehab, Barnes and other members of the church broke into Max Bauer's home by smashing a glass door, dragged him out from where he was hiding under his bed, and beat him as they took him out of the house.
Max's father, Chuck Bauer, was a co-pastor at the church and participated in the incident.
Barnes was later charged with kidnapping, burglary with a dangerous weapon, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Prior to trial, prosecutors offered Barnes a plea deal for a 36-month sentence -- the mandatory minimum which he faced on the kidnapping charge - if he pleaded guilty on that one count. In return, they offered to dismiss the others.
But Barnes refused to accept any plea unless it included favorable treatment for Max's father, Chuck Bauer, his attorney later testified.
Barnes was subsequently convicted on all charges in a bench trial, and sentenced to 138 months in prison.
The 8th Circuit dismissed Barnes's claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel Monday.
"The record supports the finding that Barnes did not turn down a legitimate plea offer due to incompetent advice. Instead, the state courts found he turned it down for a host of other personal reasons, including that he did not want to do jail time, and that he was trying to get a better deal for his friend," Judge Clarence Beam said, writing for the three-judge panel.
In addition, a video recording of one of Barnes's sermons shows he was well aware he faced a possible 24-year sentence for his actions.
This is sufficient to show Barnes knowingly turned down the plea, even if counsel did not go through the Minnesota sentencing guidelines with him, the opinion stated.