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Ralph Barnhardt's prize for schmucky SWAT team standoff: a 240-year sentence

Ralph Barnhardt. More photos below.
Ralph Barnhardt. More photos below.

Plenty of people who achieve Schmuck of the Week status are rewarded with jail time for their efforts. But we're pretty sure the stretch Ralph Barnhardt received for his qualifying actions -- a 240 year sentence -- sets a new record.

Here's what he did to earn it.

See also: Bradley Oglethorpe, sex offender, busted after returning to crime scene: a women's bathroom

Crime scene photos courtesy of 7News.
Crime scene photos courtesy of 7News.

We first wrote about Barnhardt last September, when the incident at his home in Morrison was among four recent officer-involved shootings. But his definitely stood out.

According to the First Judicial District DA's office, "What began as a domestic violence assault of Mr. Barnhardt's estranged wife, Dawn, became a standoff with police officers that lasted over six hours."

Testimony at Barnhardt's trial, as reported by 7News, revealed that Barnhardt "lured" his wife and their ten-year-old son to the Morrison home they'd previously shared.

Ralph Barnhardt's prize for schmucky SWAT team standoff: a 240-year sentence

The wife tried to leave as soon as she discovered Barnhardt was on the premises -- something that he apparently didn't like very much, since he's said to have followed her out of the house and repeatedly punched her in the face and upper body.

The couple's son reportedly tried screaming in Barnhardt's ear to get him to stop the attack and landscapers in the area ran to help. Law enforcement turned up shortly thereafter, but Barnhardt, armed with at least two semi-automatic weapons, was back in the house by that time and refused to come out.

Before long, a SWAT team was called -- and Barnhardt showed his antipathy toward its members by declining to cooperate with negotiators and firing what Assistant DA Michael Dougherty estimates as eleven shots in their direction. One bullet hit an armored vehicle, 7News points out, while two more struck houses in the vicinity.

Ralph Barnhardt's prize for schmucky SWAT team standoff: a 240-year sentence

Eventually, the cops' patience was exhausted and they opened fire on Barnhardt, who was wounded in the exchange, as witnessed by the bandage over his eye in his memorable booking photo.

In April, a Jefferson County jury weighed the evidence against Barnhardt and found it to be mighty heavy. They found him guilty of 39 counts broken down like so:

• 19 counts of Attempted Murder • 14 counts of 1st Degree Assault (intent to cause SBI to a peace officer) • Attempted 1st Degree Assault • Menacing with a Deadly Weapon • Child Abuse • Harassment • Failure to leave premises

Barnhardt has now received his 240-year sentence, setting a new standard for schmucks everywhere. Here's a look at his full-sized booking photo.

Ralph Barnhardt.
Ralph Barnhardt.

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