Man back behind bars, charged with assault

EVERETT — An Everett man who served time for his part in the kidnapping and murder of a Marysville teenager is back behind bars, again charged with assaulting a woman.

Jeff Barth is still under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections for his kidnapping conviction stemming from his role in the 2002 abduction and killing of Rachel Burkheimer, 18.

Police and community corrections officers say Barth hasn’t been able to follow the rules since his release from prison in 2011. Just last year, Barth was convicted of escape from community custody and fourth-degree domestic violence assault.

He failed to check in with his community corrections officer. He also was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend. She told police that Barth grabbed her throat when she confronted him while he was with another woman.

Now, Barth is charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon for a serious assault against his new girlfriend.

A friend called 911 last month after hearing the woman yell for help. Barth, 32, was gone when police showed up at his mother’s house, where the couple was staying.

The woman told deputies that Barth backhanded her in the face and choked her. He also is accused of putting a knife to her neck and telling her “you’re going to die today (expletive).”

She said she was pleading for her life. She ended up on the floor, kicking at him. She said that’s when the family pit bull began biting at Barth. She cried out for help.

Another woman in the house called police. That’s when Barth reportedly came out of the bedroom, asking the woman who she had called. The woman said Barth took her phone and told her she had a minute to leave the house or he was “setting his boy on her,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Katie Wetmore wrote.

His girlfriend fears for her life, telling sheriff’s deputies that Barth has beat her on numerous occasions and threatened to kill her, court papers said.

Barth fled that day but called the house several times while police were there. He refused to come back, police said.

Deputies caught up with him late Thursday after stopping a vehicle on Casino Road. Barth was a passenger and reportedly tried to deny his identity. Police, however, were familiar with Barth.

Barth pleaded not guilty to the assault charge Friday during a quick hearing in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Judge Eric Lucas ordered him held on $100,000 bail. He also prohibited Barth from having any contact with the woman.

An hour before that hearing, Barth was in Everett District Court via a video feed from the jail.

He is under investigation for drug possession with intent to deliver and possessing contraband.

While Barth was being booked into jail Thursday, officers discovered a stash of drugs during a body search, a police affidavit said. Officers allege Barth hid several ounces of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine. Barth reportedly had denied having any drugs even though he was warned that it was a felony to bring contraband into the jail, court papers said.

He later allegedly claimed the cops planted the drugs in him, police said.

At the time of his arrest, Barth also had a warrant for failing to check in with his community corrections officer.

Barth was sentenced in 2004 to nearly 10 years in prison. He was part of a band of young thugs who kidnapped and murdered Rachel Burkheimer. She was lured to a south Everett duplex, tied up and beaten.

Eventually she was stuffed in a hockey bag and driven to east Snohomish County, where she was shot to death.

Barth was accused of standing by and doing nothing to help the teenager. He also was accused of taunting the girl while she was tied up.

But Barth cut a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to testify against his former friends, including the shooter. For his cooperation and guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the murder charge against him.

Barth racked up 27 infractions while in prison, including testing positive for drugs.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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