Barnes pleads guilty

Aug. 4, 2011

By Adam White

Observer staff

Champlain Valley Union High School student Tyler Barnes pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge in Chittenden County Superior Court on Aug. 13.

Under the terms of the plea, Barnes, 16, received a deferred six-month prison sentence and was ordered to complete 15 hours of community service and attend drug counseling. The charge — possession of marijuana less than two ounces — carries a maximum sentence of up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $500.

A felony charge of distribution of marijuana to minors on school property was dismissed at a previous hearing due to lack of probable cause, and was sealed by Judge Linda Levitt the request of Barnes’ attorneys.

Barnes was arrested on June 6, along with fellow student Taylor Gingras, after CVU officials recovered a cellular phone containing text messages linking them to a possible drug transaction. Hinesburg police were notified, and both students were found to be in possession of marijuana and digital scales.

Gingras received diversion on similar charges in a pre-trial hearing last month.