Plea change in Minot crime spree

MINOT, N.D. – A man will serve more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to his role in a Minot crime spree last January.

Javontez Barnes, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of reckless endangerment, and entered an Alford plea to a count of burglary.

In exchange, the state agreed to drop charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and one count of reckless endangerment.

Investigators implicated Barnes in the attempted robbery of a Minot grocery store.

The attempted murder charge came from suspicions Barnes may have struck a man in the spine with a bullet after opening fire at an apartment, but prosecutors elected to drop that charge after further investigation.

The judge ordered Barnes serve to 10 years in prison, with five suspended. He’ll receive credit for 614 days served.

Barnes, who was supposed to stand trial next week, faced charges in two separate case files.

The Alford plea means Barnes maintains his innocence on the burglary charge, but agrees the state has enough evidence to convict him. It carries the same weight as a guilty plea.

He’ll also serve five years of supervised probation upon release.

A co-defendant still has an open case file, but a trial scheduled for later this month has been canceled.