Man who fired at deputies during standoff convicted

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Morrison resident guilty of 39 charges

By Ramsey Scott

A Morrison man who fired shots at Jeffco sheriff’s deputies during an armed standoff last July was  convicted by a jury April 22 of 39 separate charges.

Ralph Barnhardt, 45, was arrested at his home at 12574 W. Grand Ave. after a domestic violence incident led to the standoff with deputies. 

According to court documents, Barnhardt and his wife had been separated for two months when he demanded that she and their son go to his home and feed his dogs. The woman and their 10-year-old son went to the house and found Barnhardt there. 

When his wife tried to leave in her car with their son, Barnhardt reportedly reached into the vehicle and punched his wife several times. The woman’s screams brought several landscapers working in the neighborhood to her aid, and they were able to separate Barnhardt from his wife. 

When deputies arrived, Barnhardt had locked himself inside his house and had two semi-automatic guns. Sheriff’s negotiators tried for several house to persuade Barnhardt to leave the residence, but he fired 11 shots at deputies, who returned fire and hit Barnhardt several times.

Barnhardt was convicted on all 39 counts he faced, including 19 counts of attempted murder and 14 counts of first-degree assault. 

“It is a testament to the professionalism of the SWAT team that none of the officers or neighbors were injured,” District Attorney Peter Weir said in a statement on the verdict. 

Barnhardt is set to be sentenced June 5. 


Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com
 or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.