A man who campaigned for Oklahoma governor in the last election has been charged with threatening an act of violence on the day after he was arrested in connection with a shooting at his residence.
Christopher Jonathan Barnett, 36, was jailed again Thursday evening after he had posted $75,000 bail earlier that day in an unrelated shooting.
A judge set bail in the new case at $1 million Friday morning.
Barnett will be barred from blogging or posting to social media and must forfeit his passport and wear a GPS monitor if he posts bond.
A charge filed Thursday in Tulsa County District Court alleges that Barnett threatened “the University of Tulsa and/or Professor Susan Barrett and/or Winona Tanaka. The said defendant stated he would shoot fans exiting the University of Tulsa football games at halftime.”
On a website Barnett operates called transparencyforoklahomans.com, a page titled “How would Chris Barnett take down TU?” includes the specific threat listed on the criminal charge.
“Wait for football season to come, start getting every single AR-15 put into place on the highest floor,” the blog post states. “Rig up a system that will fire all of the guns at once. … Wait until almost half time or when everyone is leaving the game. When people start to flood the gates to leave, the automatic system built starts firing.”
The page contains a disclaimer at the top that reads: “This is all hypothetical and not a threat and of course will never happen, but it’ll drive the far left crazy so here it goes.”
Tanaka and Barrett are also named in the message. Tanaka was senior vice provost at TU when she suspended Barnett’s now-husband, a student in the theater department, after Barnett posted disparaging messages about TU faculty on social media. The move prompted Barnett and his husband to sue TU.
They allege that Barrett, a professor in the TU theater department, punished Barnett’s husband by accusing him of harassment despite Barnett’s claiming authorship of the messages.
Barnett has not yet been charged in the shooting that occurred about 9 p.m. Thursday at his south Tulsa home. He said he shot a process server in the arm after the man tried to serve him legal papers, but Barnett alleges that the man had pointed a gun.
Barnett had been jailed on a complaint of shooting with intent to kill in that case.
According to an investigator’s affidavit in the threats case, Barnett “has the means to act on the threats that he has made based on firearms located in his residence as well as his most recent history/arrest in conjunct with his Google search ‘can you legally shoot a process server?’”
Special Judge April Seibert set Barnett’s bail at a court appearance Friday morning after hearing arguments from prosecutor Mark Collier and District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, who asked that Barnett be held without bond.
“We have a series of veiled threats (on blogs and social media) against attorneys, judges, professors at TU, TCC,” Collier told Seibert. “This behavior extends back to 2014 and has created an atmosphere of fear among these people and their families.”
With the shooting Wednesday night, “now he’s acted on at least one of these threats,” Collier said, adding that Barnett has previously made veiled threats against process servers.
Barnett, who was represented by a public defender because his attorney was out of town, reiterated his previous claim that the process server drew his gun first and that he was defending himself.
The process server was reported to be in good condition.
Collier added, “Approximately 10 firearms were found in his (Barnett’s) house, including an assault rifle.”
“We consider him a continuing threat,” he said.
Barnett’s next court appearance, an arraignment, is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 1.
Barnett, 36, was a Republican candidate for Oklahoma governor in 2018. He finished third to last in a field of 10 Republicans in the primary, garnering 5,212 votes.
On his now-removed Facebook page, Barnett said he is running for U.S. Senate in 2020.
Driver Impairment Awareness Day has locals smoking weed and driving