Demarcus Lemaine Barker, 40, was resentenced Friday to 26⅓ years in prison after the Minnesota Court of Appeals found errors in his 2017 sentencing.
The current sentence is identical to what was initially imposed.
Barker was investigated by the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force in 2016 for traveling to Chicago to bring drugs back to Rice County. An informant saw him purchase drugs and possess them in Chicago. When Barker returned to Faribault on March 14, 2016, officers attempted to stop Barker and he fled.
Barker was followed by undercover agents who arrested him and the passenger in his car after Barker lost control and crashed in rural Rice County. The rental car Barker was driving had a significant amount of marijuana in it. The next morning, officers searched the area near where Barker crashed and found bundles of powder cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine.
In 2017, Barker was tried and convicted of all nine counts included in the complaint against him: importing controlled substances across state borders, two counts of first-degree violation of controlled substance laws, four counts of second-degree violation of controlled substance laws, one count of fifth-degree violation of controlled substance laws and fleeing police in a motor vehicle.
The court originally sentenced Barker in November 2017, but Barker appealed that sentence. The Court of Appeals found the court improperly relied on three felonies from Illinois in determining Barker’s Criminal History Score, but found the ultimate sentence was appropriate because of Barker’s long criminal record and prior convictions of four violent felonies.
Minnesota law allows for a sentence up to the maximum sentence if a person is convicted of a third violent felony.
“In Barker’s 20-year criminal career he has committed more than a dozen felonies and has always re-offended shortly after being released from prison,” said Rice County Attorney John Fossum. “The only reasonable response from the court was a lengthy prison sentence.”
Fossum was the trial attorney in Barker’s 2016 conviction for felony assault and tried the current case in 2017 with the assistance of Assistant County Attorney Natalie Staeheli. Chief Assistant County Attorney Terence Swihart argued the case on appeal. Fossum argued for the violent offender penalty which could have been up to 35 years in prison for count one.
Barker is not eligible for release from prison before October 2033.