Man smuggles blade into Clackamas courtroom, slashes his neck

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by Teresa Blackman, kgw.com Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 4:37 PM

OREGON CITY, Ore. – A man slashed his throat with a razor blade in court after he was convicted of theft Monday, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

Terry Barnes, 55, survived and was rushed to a local hospital.

He smuggled the piece of a razor blade into the Clackamas County Courthouse when he arrived in his wheelchair earlier that day. The blade (pictured at right) was smaller than a quarter and Barnes later told KGW he hid it in his mouth.

"I had it in my mouth, in the gums of my mouth," he said.

Sgt. Robert Wurpes said security followed the proper procedures when Barnes arrived at the courthouse, but he still managed to get the piece of the razor blade inside.

“Mr. Barnes' person and wheelchair had been patted down and visually inspected by DePaul Security as he entered the courthouse, and his belongings and jacket had been X-rayed,” Wurpes said.

Barnes pulled out the blade after he was sentenced to 180 days for a theft conviction. He stated that he had been given a "death sentence" and suddenly began slicing his neck on both sides, according to Wurpes.

Courtroom deputies responded quickly and administered first aid until paramedics arrived and rushed him to the hospital.

Wurpes said Barnes would undergo a mental evaluation after his condition was stabilized at the hospital.

During an interview with KGW later in the day, Barnes said slashing his neck was an act of desperation because he feared that in jail, he would not get the medication he needed.

“I took the razor blade out of my mouth and slit my throat. Everybody jumped back. I think my attorney hit my wheelchair, everybody jumped and ran in different directions," he said.

The incident caused some courthouse visitors on Tuesday to question whether there needs to be more security.

“You know, it is a courthouse. They need to be keeping it safe for us,” one visitor said. “He could have attacked someone else, too."

(KGW Reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report.)

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