Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Tackle Receives Probation in DUI; Barnes Writes a Letter to Police Officer Apologizing for His Rant Following His Arrest

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Tackle Receives Probation in DUI; Barnes Writes a Letter to Police Officer Apologizing for His Rant Following His Arrest

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL PINKHAM

Jaguars offensive tackle Khalif Barnes has been sentenced to six months' probation for drunken driving and has disavowed statements he made to a Jacksonville police officer in a videotaped tirade after his arrest.

Barnes, 25, pleaded no contest last week after a July 18 court date was rescheduled to accommodate his schedule. He was ordered to pay $650 in fines and court costs and perform 50 hours of community service.

Duval County Judge James Ruth also suspended his driver's license for six months and ordered him to participate in a drunken driving class and victim impact panel. The sentence was standard for first-time drunken driving offenders, Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said.

Barnes also wrote a letter to police Officer D.E. Cullen apologizing for the obscenity-laced rant he directed at the officer after his Nov. 11 arrest off Butler Boulevard. Barnes was videotaped accusing Cullen of racism and complained of playing in a "hick town."

"The stress of the situation led me to say things which I do not believe," Barnes said in the letter. "I want you to know that was out of character for me."

Barnes told the Times-Union on Wednesday that he likes Jacksonville and playing for the Jaguars. He said he has grown from the incident and feels he has been punished adequately, both with media coverage and in court.

"I'm just glad that it's all over and I can focus on playing football," he said. "I just want to be playing ball for the city of Jacksonville and hopefully get back to winning games."

Training camp for the 2007 season opens July 28.

Barnes' plea leaves one criminal case involving a current member of the Jaguars pending in Jacksonville. Cornerback Brian Williams is fighting his drunken driving charge after initially pleading guilty. The case is scheduled for a status hearing Sept. 5.

Cullen pulled Barnes over after he said the player's 2007 Mercedes passed him doing 101 mph near Butler and Gate Parkway about 1:20 a. …

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