Ardmore man seeks release to address addiction problem

An Ardmore man awaiting trial on four drug-related charges is seeking release from prison so he can address his addiction problem.

David B. Barr Jr., 36, has filed a petition with the U.S. District Court in Johnstown contending his Eighth Amendment right against the imposition of excessive bail has been violated.

Barr said he has been in prison in either Blair or Cambria County since his arrest in June.

He said in his petition that his incarceration alongside convicted inmates constitutes punishment and that his $25,000 cash bail on each count violates his rights and discriminates against him.

He said his rights to presumption of innocence, not to have excessive bail, not to be discriminated against and to due process have been violated.

Barr stated he has an ongoing substance abuse issue that is not being addressed.

He stated rather than sitting in prison, he would benefit more by addressing his addiction.

Barr said he filed a request for bail modification in Blair County, but he had no response.

“I would like to be released on my own recognizance to await trial and attend an addiction treatment center.

“My hope is to address my substance abuse issues there and attend my trial as a rightfully innocent individual having a rightfully prepared defense, wearing a new suit and tie rather than handcuffs, shackles and a prison suit,” he stated in his federal petition.

Blair County Court records show Barr faces four drug charges stemming from police buys of crystal methamphetamine.

Police on June 7 issued a search warrant for the Park Boulevard home of Trevor A. Winters, 26, of Altoona, and seized a kilogram of crystal meth.

Barr and Winters “had the potential to be a million dollar operation,” Blair County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio said at the time of the arrests of the pair.

Barr is charged with four counts of conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess the drug with the intent to deliver, along with related offenses.

The federal petition seeking bail has been referred to U.S. Magistrate Keith Pesto in Johnstown.

Court records show that Barr is represented by Hollidaysburg attorney Robert Scott Donaldson.

Donaldson reported that he is not representing Barr in his federal petition.

Barr filed that himself, Donaldson said.

Donaldson said jury selection in the Barr case is scheduled for Jan. 22.

The cases against Barr and Winters have been joined, and they will be tried together, he said.