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ADA Barker running for York County common pleas judge
A career prosecutor in the York County District Attorney's Office, who has tried a number of high-profile cases, is running for county judge.
Tim Barker, 47, has been a prosecutor in York County for 19 years and is one of the office's three chief deputy prosecutors.
Barker's high-profile cases in York County include murders, elder abuse and consumer fraud, according to a news release announcing his candidacy.
One of the most notorious cases Barker successfully prosecuted was the vehicular homicide case of Joanna Seibert, who killed Northern York County Regional Police Officer David Tome.
Tome was standing along Route 15 in Franklin Township on Oct. 21, 2008, investigating an earlier fatal crash, when he was struck by Seibert's car, police have said.
Seibert was speeding, tailgating, applying makeup and using her cellphone when she failed to notice orange safety cones. She struck several cones before hitting Tome — and only hit her brakes afterward, Barker told jurors at Seibert's trial. She was convicted of homicide by vehicle and evidence tampering, for erasing her cellphone history.
Race-riot murders: Barker also was heavily involved in the prosecution of a number of defendants charged in the 1969 race-riot murders of rookie York City police officer Henry Schaad and preacher's daughter Lillie Belle Allen, who was visiting from out of state.
A number of defendants either pleaded guilty or were convicted for their parts in the murders, although jurors acquitted Charlie Robertson of allegedly handing out ammunition to white teens and urging them to shoot black people. Robertson was mayor of York City while he was on trial; he was a York City police officer at the time of the race riots.
Barker was lead prosecutor in the Blossom Valley Farms vehicular homicide case, winning a conviction against the owner of the company and guilty pleas from Blossom Valley's nursery manager and an employee who was driving a truck that crashed into a number of people.
2 killed, 8 hurt: The Blossom Valley Farms dump truck lost its brakes atop Glen Rock's steep Church Street hill on April 11, 2013, and crashed at the bottom, killing 11-year-old Amber Lyn McArdle and her mother, 33-year-old Michelle Moser, both of Glen Rock. Eight others, many of them children, were injured — some badly.
A school bus had just dropped off students at the bottom of the hill when the truck lost its brakes and crashed into them. Barker convinced jurors the truck's brakes were faulty and that the owner of Blossom Valley Farms knew it but did nothing to fix them. The driver of the truck chose to drive down the steep hill, even though large trucks are banned from using it, police have said.
Barker forged a relationship with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the Blossom Valley prosecutions, becoming specialized in prosecuting traffic deaths. His expertise in the field has heavily influenced how the York County District Attorney's Office handles fatal crash prosecutions.
Affiliations, awards: In 2011-12, Barker served as a "prosecutor fellow" for NHTSA's Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, and in 2007 received an award from NHTSA for his prosecutions, according to the news release.
Barker is the executive supervising prosecutor for York County's treatment courts and also serves in the appellate and vehicular-crimes units of the DA's Office, the release states. He serves on a number of advisory groups, committees and task forces on behalf of the DA's Office, according to the release.
He speaks across the country about justice initiatives, homicides, vehicular crimes and forensic evidence, the release states, and has served on national and statewide committees on vehicular safety and treatment-court initiatives.
Barker's background: After passing the state's bar exam in 1996, Barker clerked for a Berks County judge before being hired by the York County District Attorney's Office by then-District Attorney Stan Rebert.
Barker was raised near Reading in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1991, then received a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Law in 1995, according to the news release.
He is certified to practice law not only in Pennsylvania, but also for the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and for the U.S. Supreme Court, the release states.
Barker attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1987, according to the release.
He and wife, Melissa, live in Springettsbury Township with their three dogs. She is the longtime victim-witness coordinator for the DA's Office.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.