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    Kirk Barnhardt Sentenced to 240Y Prison for Firing at SWAT Officers


    Ralph “Kirk” Barnhardt, 45, was sentenced today to 240 years in prison for firing shots at SWAT officers following a domestic violence assault and police standoff in July, 2013.

    What began as a domestic violence assault of Mr. Barnhardt’s estranged wife, Dawn, became a standoff with police officers that lasted over six hours.

    Mr. Barnhardt armed himself with two semi-automatic weapons before police arrived and refused to come out of the house or put down his guns. SWAT officers were called when they realized he was armed. Negotiators spent hours trying to convince him to end the standoff and come out.

    “This crime is particularly egregious in that it went on for hours, despite the many opportunities Mr. Barnhardt had to reverse the course of action that day and to end the chain of events he had put into play,” said Assistant DA Michael Dougherty, “Despite hours of telephone communication with a SWAT negotiator, Mr. Barnhardt continued to refuse to surrender and ultimately fired 11 shots out the front window at SWAT officers, forcing them to bring the incident to an end.”

    A Jefferson County jury found Barnhardt guilty of 39 counts at trial in April 2014:

    • 19 counts of Attempted Murder (F2);
    • 14 counts of 1st Degree Assault (intent to cause SBI to a peace officer) (F3);
    • Attempted 1st Degree Assault (F4);
    • Menacing with a Deadly Weapon (F5)
    • Child Abuse (M2);
    • 3rd Degree Assault (M1);
    • Harassment (M3); and
    • Failure to leave premises (M1)

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information
    303-271-6905
    prussel@jeffco.us

    July 1, 2014

    Ralph “Kirk” Barnhardt


    Last Updated: 7-8-2014
  • The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s).
    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.