Georgia Judge Resigns After Pulling Gun In Courtroom And Advices Domestic Abuse Witness That She Might Want To Shoot Her Lawyer

Georgia Chief Judge David Barrett, chief judge of the Enotah Judicial Circuit, has resigned over what the district attorney called “a poor rhetorical point.” District Attorney Jeff Langley’s description may not quite capture the moment. Barrett pulled out a gun in his courtroom in the Enotah Judicial Circuit and told a women in a domestic assault case “You might as well shoot your lawyer.”

The incident was captured on court surveillance cameras, but Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said that a “glitch” prevented him from seeing the film. While it is not unlawful for a judge to have a gun in a Georgia courtroom, a charge could be brought in a case of brandishing or threatening conduct. Notably, even without the tape, there is witness testimony that would appear to establish the basis for a possible criminal charge. Gainesville lawyer Dan Summer, who was questioning the witness on the stand at the time, said it “was a little bit reckless. … I was a little concerned when it was pointed at me.”

If someone pulls out a gun and points it at a waitress to make a “poor culinary point” about the chicken pot pie, how would that be treated in Lumpkin County. It will be interesting how the next such case is treated by the Sheriff involving an ordinary citizen.

Barrett pulled out his gun when told a woman testifying about a domestic assault that she was “killing her case.” Langley said that he told Barrett to put his gun away and the judge complied.

While it is hard to see when pulling a gun would make a point of any kind for a judge, to do so with a woman testifying on a temporary protective order in a domestic abuse case could not be a worse time. It certainly took attention away from the anger issues of Scott Sugarman, a former Hall County sheriff’s deputy, who is also charged with rape and aggravated assault with a handgun. So you have a former deputy accused of assault with a handgun and a judge who whips out his gun to make a legal point.

Source:  CBSas first seen on ABA Journal

22 thoughts on “Georgia Judge Resigns After Pulling Gun In Courtroom And Advices Domestic Abuse Witness That She Might Want To Shoot Her Lawyer”

  1. As a Dahlonega resident who’s had the misfortune to get to know the “legal” system too well, my only hope is – we get an ETHICAL judge who does NOT join the good ol’l boy (and one girl) system. The illegal acts of the judges (and their cohorts) in Lumpkin County are vast and complex. One day someone will DO something to make Dahlonega a nice place to live.. and for the folks who live here and comment on if I don’t like it, leave… well, I wish I could – but a Lumpkin County JUDGE commit a felony against my land/property – and I can’t sell it…. so, guess we’re stuck with each other.

  2. There is nothing funny about domestic violence. Judges are held to a higher standard than regular folks and his behavior is a disgrace!

  3. Not enough details here for me to make a judgement. I do love guns though.

  4. See? If they wouldn’t have those 2nd-amendment-thwartin’ metal detectors at the court building, all the spectators coulda just opened up on the judge! You betcha!

  5. From the ABA article:

    “Judge David Barrett, chief judge of the Enotah Judicial Circuit, told the Dahlonega Nugget he is leaving because he did not want to put his family through the ordeal of an ethics investigation and possible public criticism. “I’m not putting up with that for my family,” he said. “It’s called public service, not because you’re getting rich.”


    Now there’s a guy with true public service and a “family first” value set in his heart — and a gun over it. Wouldn’t want to live in that house.

    1. Mespo,

      Ya, think he went to the same family values class the Texas Family Court Judge went to……

  6. “Advises” not “advices” – time to proof the intern’s work.

  7. The article is a bit too disjointed to discern enough to “judge” the conduct of the judge. The phrase “pulled a gun” has meaning in America. However, as a former humanoid who practiced law in the south there are many judges who just keep the pistol out on the bench laying there flat and out of view unless one walks up and is seven feet tall and takes a gander of the articles up there next to the pencil and paper and comic books. So, the judge might have been inspecting the gun looking for worms or what not when he was talking to the witness. I saw a judge hand a defendant his own loaded gun back to the defendant as the judge said he was dismising the gun possession charge against the defendant and commented that it “was a nice piece”. This was Georgia. Lets not be to judgmental on the judge here.

    1. Bron,

      You forgot….no humor…. Evening the judge is the accused….


      That could go for a number of judges that refuse to do his or her job….and make everyone’s life he’ll because they have been inconvenienced……

  8. Quote “It will be interesting how the next such case is treated by the Sheriff involving an ordinary citizen.”

    This is rhetorical right? We ALL know that he would NOT be treated anything like the judge.

    As for the “glitchy” camera’s, it’s amazing how video is lost or “missing” when they want to use it in a case against authorities.

  9. I love the south. The judge cut right to the quick and was trying to help the woman. A true southern gentleman.

  10. Oh my…. The lack of delusion is never been grander….. Did you hear the one about….. Oh yeah… We can’t have humor…. We must be PC…..

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