Thursday, January 26, 2023

Defeated candidate faces charge for obscene call

Sheena Barnes, also known as Sheena Devina Green, 62, appeared for arraignment before Judge Brian Oakley in 34th District Court Jan. 12 on charges of malicious use of the telephone.

Barnes, of Sumpter Township, was required by the court to provide a $1,000 personal bond and another court hearing on the charges was to be scheduled. Barnes who posted the bond, appeared in person for the arraignment although she refused to speak with an MIDC (Michigan Indigent Defense Commission) attorney, according to court records.

A failed candidate for Sumpter Township treasurer, Barnes is charged with making the malicious and obscenity riddled call to Sumpter Township Supervisor Tim Bowman last August, prior to the November ballot. In the recorded call she shouted obscenities and expletives at Bowman, and implied threats to him and his wife. After hearing the recording message, Bowman referred the recording to the police department citing harassment, intimidation, and the stated physical threat.

Barnes' call was prompted, according to township officials, by a letter sent to all township businesses in an effort to ensure that all businesses were compliant with local ordinances. reminding the owners that permits are required and that fees must be updated. According to township records at the time of the call, Barnes' barbeque business which she operates from a trailer on her Sumpter Road property, had not been licensed since 2018. According to township officials, her business was, at that time, also lacking up-to-date inspections and permits from the Wayne County Department of Health. 

The phone call includes vulgar language, sexual references and racial slurs along with the explicit threat of violence against both Bowman and his wife.

The Sumpter Township police referred the matter to Van Buren Township for investigation in an effort to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

No date for Barnes' next court appearance had been set at press time.