Man Accused of Shooting Friendship Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charge
JACKSON, Tenn. – The man accused of shooting the Friendship Police Chief entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court to a firearm charged, Friday.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Craig Michael Barbee, 39, of Dyersburg, pleaded guilty today to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Officials said that, according to the indictment and statements made during the plea hearing, on May 18, 2012, Barbee used a .38 Special revolver in an attempt to rob the Dollar General Store in Friendship.
He was reportedly confronted during the attempted robbery by off-duty Friendship Police Chief Bill Garret. During an attempt to disarm the gunman, Garret was shot in the abdomen.
After robbing the business and several patrons, Barbee allegedly fled the scene before officers with the Friendship Police Department and Crockett County Sheriff’s Deputies could arrive. Garret has fully recovered from his injuries.
Barbee was arrested the next day in Lauderdale County.
“The violent nature of Barbee’s brazen and criminal acts, including his willingness to fire upon a member of law enforcement, underscoresthe threat that he posed to the community as a whole,”
said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “We will remain vigilant in aggressively prosecuting those individuals who violate federal firearm laws and endanger the safety of our citizens.”
Barbee will appear before U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen on June 28, 2013, at the Jackson Federal Courthouse for sentencing. He is still facing charges of Attempted First-Degree Murder and Aggravated Robbery in state court.