The first trial of the new year in the 15th state district court is liable to center around a man accused of several counts of online solicitation of a minor.
Joshua Barrier has pleaded not guilty to those charges and recently overcame a competency hearing to get to see those charges presented before a jury.
In court Friday, Barrier repeatedly asked to speak to Judge Jim Fallon privately, and Fallon told Barrier that was not going to be possible and advised Barrier that he needed to refrain from speaking out during the hearing. Barrier didn’t seem to like that answer because he kept speaking out and demanded that Fallon speak with him about what Barrier claims are abuses he is suffering at the Grayson County Jail.
Fallon said those issues were between Barrier and the jail staff.
After a couple more exchanges, Barrier, who was sitting in the jury box, jumped up from his chair, threw himself on the ground and started screaming out for help repeatedly at the top of his lungs. Court and jail staff removed him from the courtroom through the jury room, and he could then be heard to continue to scream for help as they took him down the hall behind the courtroom.
In October, Barrier’s attorney Pamela McGraw sought to have him declared incompetent because she said he was not able to help her prepare for his defense. Jurors listened to two days of testimony and took about 20 minutes to find him competent. McGraw is the second attorney that was assigned to Barrier’s case and when his trial starts in the new year, he will be represented by Rick Dunn, the third attorney on the case.
Barrier’s charges stem from April of 2017 when the then Grayson County law librarian gave Barrier permission to use the space after hours to work on legal research. Barrier was found in the law library after hours and deputies reviewed the files he had with him. Deputies found a copy of a social security card of another individual and a driver’s license from yet another individual.
Neither of which were Barrier.
Barrier was later arrested when parents of a Whitesboro teen said he had been exchanging inappropriate messages with their child via computer. Further investigation led officials to think Barrier sent those messages from the Grayson County Law Library.
The law librarian was later fired from her job over the incident.
In court on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Matt Rolston and Dunn quickly disposed of pretrial matters and discussed the plan for the hearing in January.