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Man accused in beating case loses bid to suppress comments

Heather Chapin-Fowler • Sep 6, 2010 at 11:07 AM

A man accused of brutally beating a Huron woman won't be able to keep his damning words from the jury if he goes to trial.

Michael Barrett asked the Erie County Common Pleas Court to suppress his comment to police that "the (expletive) is going to lie" from court proceedings. But a judge ruled that his statement, made voluntarily while Barrett was being transported to jail, will be allowed as evidence if he goes to trial.

Other comments Barrett made while under arrest won't be allowed in court, according to court documents.

Barrett, 57, of Linden Drive, remains in the Erie County jail for the April 13 incident in lieu of a $65,000 bond.

An Erie County grand jury indicted him on charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, attempted rape, abduction, disrupting a public service and a specification of being a repeat violent offender.

He is accused of attacking Nikki Sheffield, his roommate at the time, causing several facial injuries and breaking her nose.

Sheffield has said she attempted to evict Barrett multiple times after the two broke off their romantic involvement.

Barrett reportedly became enraged while drinking and threatened to kill Sheffield, break her arm and gouge out her eye.

He held her down and beat her after he tried to stick his finger in her eye, she testified during a Huron Municipal Court hearing earlier this year.

Barrett has been to prison several times for violent offenses as well as theft convictions, according to court records.

He was scheduled to go to trial this month, but his attorney filed a motion for more time, citing "continued negotiations between the state and defendant."

Prosecutor Kevin Baxter and Barrett's attorney, Ronnie Wingate, weren't available for comment Friday.

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