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Cops and Courts

Suspect in North Ridgeville shooting loses GPS privilege

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    Assistant County Prosecutor Peter Gauthier listens as Jonathon Barnette explains his trips around Northeast Ohio while wearing a GPS ankle monitor.



ELYRIA — A Lorain man accused of being the getaway driver in a shooting in January 2018 that seriously wounded an Avon woman will remain free on bond for the time being, but he is stuck at home at least through his May trial date.

Declaring the multiple alleged violations of his GPS monitoring “too confusing,” Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi told defendant Jonathon Barnette, 22, of Lorain, that he will remain under house arrest without privileges until charges of attempted murder and felonious assault against him are resolved

“We’re going to make this real easy: I’m changing (the conditions of) your bond to house arrest. Period. You can’t go anywhere,” Miraldi told Barnette. “The only other option is you go to jail until this case is tried.”

Barnette was indicted in March by a Lorain County grand jury on charges of attempted aggravated murder and attempted murder, both first-degree felonies with firearms specifications, and two counts of felonious assault, both second-degree felonies with firearms specifications. A bail bondsman posted a $100,000 surety bond and Barnette was released from Lorain County Jail with conditions including constant GPS monitoring to track his movements.

Barnette previously was allowed to leave his house to apply for jobs, for work if he found a job, to go to church or to visit his mother. The judge revoked those privileges at Thursday’s hearing.

“You don’t even know where your mom lives,” Miraldi scolded Barnette, who admitted to both his own attorney and to a prosecutor that he couldn’t recall his mother’s address in Cleveland, nor her neighborhood or what it is near.

Barnette and Christian Martinez, both of Lorain, are charged in connection with the Jan. 4, 2018, shooting of a temporary Invacare associate, Jacqueline Dienes of Avon. She was shot Jan. 4 while taking a smoke break at the end of Taylor Industrial Parkway in North Ridgeville. Both men were temporary workers at Elyria’s Multi-Link at the time.

Martinez, 21, allegedly shot Dienes while Barnette waited inside a borrowed car nearby. Facing the same charges as Barnette, Martinez remains in the Lorain County Jail on $3 million bond. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges, and it remains unclear whether they had any ties to Dienes or what the motive for the shooting is.

On Monday, Miraldi denied Barnette’s request to be removed from GPS monitoring, a condition of his bond since April and one the judge said he hadn’t violated even once. But the court later learned that on Monday evening, Barnette and his brother drove from Lorain to Cleveland with multiple stops along the way.

Testifying Thursday, Barnette said he left probation officials a message at 10:55 p.m. Monday notifying them his sister had asked for a ride home from their mother’s house in Cleveland.

GPS tracking data presented in court showed Barnette left his residence on East 30th Street in Lorain at 10:43 p.m. Monday and did not return until 4:01 a.m. Tuesday. During those five hours, the GPS data tracked Barnette to a grocery store on Meister Road in Lorain; to a residence on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain (“My dad stays there,” Barnette testified); to a car wash where Barnette said his brother cleaned the car; to a Valero gas station; to a residence on Washington Avenue in Lorain where Barnette and his brother picked up their cousin; to Barnette’s grandparents’ residence on West 19th Street in Lorain; to his sister’s apartment on West 27th Street in Lorain; to a Taco Bell; and then back to the apartment on West 27th Street.

GPS tracking showed Barnette then spent 10 minutes in the parking lot of Christie’s Cabaret, a strip club in The Flats district in Cleveland, after which he was tracked to a Sunoco gas station in Lorain, shown taking a second trip to a Taco Bell in Lorain, followed by a stop at a McDonalds, then finally back to his residence.

Questioned by both defense attorney Jack Bradley and Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Peter Gauthier, Barnette said his brother was driving him, and he couldn’t explain why the GPS data placed him at Christie’s Cabaret.

“I don’t even know where that’s at,” Barnette testified, adding that he “didn’t realize or feel like it was violating” his bond for his brother to make multiple stops on the way to their destination.

Barnette also allegedly violated his bond Tuesday by taking a 10-minute trip to a grocery store near his home and again at 10:49 p.m. Tuesday to 12:49 a.m. Wednesday by again traveling to multiple gas stations in Lorain, this time being driven around by his cousin.

Barnette explained the multiple gas station stops saying his cousin “wanted to get cheaper gas” and was shopping for the best price per gallon. He also allegedly accompanied his grandfather grocery shopping and to the bank and then to church with other family members Wednesday, and from 8:27 p.m. Wednesday to 1:19 a.m. Thursday, was tracked to his father’s house on Oberlin Avenue, his uncle’s residence on Colorado Avenue and then again to multiple Lorain-area gas stations.

“This wasn’t all just to have a good time?” Gauthier asked Barnette.

“I didn’t see it was a big problem to do that,” Barnette replied.

Barnette’s next scheduled court appearance is a pretrial hearing Jan. 28. A trial on the attempted murder and felonious assault charges is scheduled for May 14 in Miraldi’s courtroom.

Martinez’ trial is scheduled to begin a week later on May 21, court records show.

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’ Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.

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