Athens man accused of beating, choking elderly victim ordered to undergo psych exam


Antonio Luvara Barnes

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man who was arrested two months ago for allegedly beating and choking an elderly man during a domestic dispute was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation prior to his arraignment.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, 42-year-old Antonio Luvara Barnes of Atlanta Avenue assaulted the 74-year-old victim the night of Oct. 30 when the victim intervened in an altercation between Barnes and an ex-girlfriend.

Barne's former girfriend reportedly told police that she was sleeping when Barnes entered her bedroom and attacked, hitting her about 20 times in the face.

The older victim went into the bedroom to check on the commotion when Barnes allegedly punched him in the face, grabbed him by the throat and strangled him.

The victim said he felt dizzy but never lost consciousness, according to the police report.

While attacking the man, Barnes allegedly said that he was going to kill him, according to the report.

When the elder victim tried to leave the scene, Barnes allegedly knocked him down and dragged him back into the home, according to the report.

The victim was then able to lock Barnes outside and call 911, the police report noted.

Barnes had fled the scene by the time officers arrived.

Investigators subsequently obtained warrants and Barnes was arrested on Dec. 19.

About a month later, a Clarke County grand jury charged Barnes with two counts of aggravated assault,

Western Judicial Circuit Judge Eric Norris denied Barnes’ request for bond on the grounds that if released Barnes would pose a risk to the community and it was likely that he would commit a felony, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.

Then, on Feb. 18, Barnes’ defense attorney filed a motion requesting that his client undergo a mental health evaluation because the attorney believed that Barnes “is suffering or has suffered some mental od psychological infirmity.”

Norris granted the motion the very next day and ordered Barnes to be evaluated by the Forensics Services Team from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

There is nothing in Barnes’ court filings to indicate that the exam had been completed, and he is scheduled to be arraigned on April 13.

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