Trial Delayed In Helicopter Crash That Killed Deputy
Posted October 2, 2006 12:00 p.m. EDT
LOUISBURG, N.C. — The pilot charged in connection with a helicopter crash two years ago that killed a Franklin County deputy won't go on trial until early next year, authorities said Monday.
Ben Barrick is charged with involuntary manslaughter for the May 2004 crash that killed Deputy Ted Horton.
Prosecutors said Barrick had worked out a secret lease with Frankline County Sheriff Jerry Jones and that the agreement required him to provide an aircraft in excellent flying condition. However, a federal investigation revealed that fatigue failure in the tailboom caused the fatal crash.
According to reports, Barrick chose to fly despite warnings he was not properly maintaining the helicopter. A grand jury decided to indict Barrick on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Barrick was scheduled to go on trial Monday, but a lawyer argued that a $50,000 bond Barrick posted to get out of jail left him no money to hire a defense attorney.
The judge and prosecutor agreed to lower Barrick's bond to $25,000 to free up enough cash for Barrick to get legal counsel in the case. Barrick earlier said he might represent himself at trial.
The trial has been resceduled for January.