A convicted felon was allowed to walk out of Yuba County jail last April, uncharged, despite a new arrest for possession of 33 firearms. Now, he is wanted on 51 felony counts — but has disappeared.
Patrick McGrath is the Yuba County District Attorney. He says Barry Norman was detained at his residence in the town of Linda last year, and was held in the Yuba County Jail. But, even with the number of firearms and his previous felony record, he was jailed for 48 hours and then released.
McGrath says Norman was not immediately arraigned after last April’s arrest because of a court decision out of Sacramento called the “Kellett ruling”: An individual cannot be charged with a crime that stems from an investigation that already has been adjudicated.
He says that, if the district attorney had filed a single charge to hold Norman and he pleaded guilty, the other 50 felonies he’s now facing with could not have been filed.
“You have the right to make a court appearance within 48 hours. Typically, in an investigation like this that is fairly complex, you are not going to be charged within that time frame,” McGrath explained.
The DA’s office ultimately filed 51 charges against Norman this past November. Some were for the firearms possession, but the complaint also alleges that Norman was in possession of methamphetamine and these stolen items: a trailer, several ATVs, a bobcat, and cash in the middle of an illegal marijuana grow.
Norman was not arrested last November, however. “When the case is eventually charged, the court will go ahead and send a letter to you asking you to show up at a pre-arranged date or a date set by the court,” McGrath said.
Norman’s court date was March 6. But he did not appear, and a no-bail bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
McGrath says Norman has long-standing ties to Yuba County and he expects the accused to be found soon.