Ex-Deputy Who Used Stun Gun On Espanola Teen Gets Plea Deal

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico sheriff's deputy who faced charges for using a stun gun on a teen with special needs has agreed to never work in law enforcement again.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday that attorneys for Jeremy Barnes, a fired Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s deputy, say he will not seek law enforcement work as part of a plea agreement with the state Attorney General's Office. He will also give up any law enforcement certifications.

Barnes, 37, pleaded no contest to a charge of false imprisonment in Tierra Amarilla. He faces up to 18 months in prison.

He will be sentenced Jan. 5.

Barnes was initially also charged with child abuse, aggravated battery and violation of ethical principles of public service. He could have received a sentence of over five years if convicted.

In May 2019, a widely circulated video showed Barnes using a stun gun on a 15-year-old boy several times at Espanola Valley High School.

In a statement, Attorney General Hector Balderas said “there is no excuse” for why Barnes had to deploy the stun gun at that time. He says it is also proof of the importance of de-escalation and sensitivity training.

The teen later settled a lawsuit with Rio Arriba County and the Espanola school district for $1.3 million.