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News Releases

Death Investigation In Bell County

Date of News Release: 08/26/2015

(Pineville, Ky.) On August 26, 2015 at 10:55 a.m. Kentucky State Police, Post 10 Harlan received a call from the Bell County Sheriff, Mitch Williams, reporting that a shooting had occurred inside of the Bell County Courthouse in Pineville Ky. Detectives and troopers from Post 10 responded to the scene.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Erik B. Barnett, 25, of Pineville had a court appearance and then was taken into custody on orders of the judge. Mr. Barnett was being escorted to the jail via an elevator in the basement of the court house by the court bailiff. Once inside the elevator an altercation took place between the Bell County Bailiff and Mr. Barnett. The bailiff was knocked to the ground and his weapon was taken from him by Mr. Barnett. Mr. Barnett then suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound while on the elevator. The Bailiff did not receive any medical treatment due to the altercation. Mr. Barnett was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bell County Coroner Jay Steele.

The body has sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort for an autopsy tomorrow. This case is still under investigation by KSP Det. Jake Wilson.