Convicted man sentenced to 24 years

A judge ordered Monday a 32-year-old Craig man, who a jury convicted of several felonies, to serve 24 years in prison for the kidnapping, robbery and strangulation of a woman in 2007.

After a four-day trial in December 2008, a jury found James Jerome Barry guilty on seven felonies, the most serious being second-degree kidnapping, a Class 2 felony. A conviction for a Class 2 carries a mandatory 8 to 24 years sentence.

He also was convicted of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping, a Class 3 felony; second-degree assault, a Class 4 felony; conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, and menacing, both Class 5 felonies, and robbery and criminal extortion, both Class 4 felonies.

Prosecutors alleged Barry and two others coaxed the victim into a car and took her outside Craig city limits, where she was forced to strip. They later assaulted and strangled her.

The victim was strangled, prosecutor Jeremy Snow said in a news release, "almost to the point of death."

Other defendants in the case had pleaded guilty to charges and were sentenced to either prison or jail.

Barry appeared for sentencing Monday in Moffat County District Court before Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District.

His attorney, Kris Hammond, of Steamboat Springs, asked the court for leniency in imposing its sentence.

Jeremy Snow, deputy district attorney and the prosecutor who handled the Barry trial, asked the court comply with recommendations made in a pre-sentencing report.

The report recommended Barry, who has prior felony convictions, be sentenced to 24 years in the Department of Corrections, and O'Hara's sentence sided with the pre-sentencing report and the prosecution's request.

Snow said Barry's sentence is the "culmination of nearly 18 months of effort by the (14th Judicial) District Attorney's Office and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute Mr. Barry and others."

Snow told the court that Barry, through his actions, sought to bring a "thug mentality" to Moffat County.

"A lengthy prison sentence," Snow said in the release, "sends the message that this is simply not acceptable in our community."

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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