EDWARDSVILLE — Additional charges were filed Monday against an Edwardsville police officer already facing multiple charges in connection with a string of burglaries uncovered in December.
Officer Brian Barker, 41, is facing new charges of arson, burglary and money-laundering. Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons filed nine new charges Monday against Barker for not only burglarizing a multi-unit office building in Edwardsville, but also starting a fire on Nov. 18, 2013, that caused damage to several businesses in that building, including the office of State Rep. Dwight Kay. In addition to one count of arson, a Class 2 felony, for the property at 101 South Pointe Drive, he is facing five counts of burglary, a Class 2 felony, for burglarizing five offices at the same address. Additionally, two other burglary charges were filed for another business on Center Grove Road and one for the Edwardsville Township building. Barker also faces one count of money laundering, a Class 3 felony, for trying to sell stolen automobile parts and electronics in person and on the Craigslist website.
Barker was originally charged in December with official misconduct, possession of stolen firearms and multiple counts of burglary following an investigation into numerous burglaries in the area. Last week, a Madison County grand jury indicted Keri L. Knight, 41, a dispatcher with the Edwardsville Police Department, for her role in obstructing the investigation into Barker’s actions. That indictment alleged that Knight provided false information to investigators, concealed evidence and stole cash connected to their investigation into Barker.
Barker was originally charged with one count of burglary, a Class 2 felony, and one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 Felony, related to a Dec. 21 burglary at Reality Salon and Spa in Edwardsville. Further investigation into unsolved burglaries in the Edwardsville area led to 12 additional charges against Barker, which include ten burglary charges, a Class 2 felony, one count of residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, and one count of aggravated unlawful possession of stolen firearms, a Class X felony. The burglaries occurred at businesses in the Edwardsville area, including law firms, retail establishments and another salon. The residential burglary occurred in Moro.
If Barker is convicted, the charges carry penalties ranging from probation up to four to 15 years on the Class 1 felony, three to seven years in prison on the Class 2 felony and two to five years on the Class 3 felony.
Class X felonies are non-probationable and carry a penalty of six to 30 years in prison. For Knight, who faces one felony and one misdemeanor, the penalty range is probation up to one to three years in prison on the felony and up to one year in jail on the misdemeanor.
At the request of the Edwardsville Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department detectives led the investigations into Barker and Knight, who are currently both on administrative leave without pay. Their cases are pending.
Barker is in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville. Associate Judge Neil Schroeder set Barker’s bond at $300,000.
These charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.