Barnes Construction to pay $30,000 restitution to Temperance man - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Barnes Construction to pay $30,000 restitution to Temperance man

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Ronald McPherson and his late wife. Ronald McPherson and his late wife.
(Toledo News Now) -

A Call 11 for Action investigation is coming to a head for a Michigan man.

After doctors diagnosed Ronald McPherson's wife with terminal breast cancer, McPherson hired contractor Chris Barnes of Barnes Construction to remodel their home, as a gift to his wife.

"We were married 35 years and she never wanted anything for herself," said McPherson. "This is the only thing she wanted done."

But what started as a loving gesture from a Temperance husband to his wife ended in the loss of thousands of dollars. Little did McPherson know his $30,000 contract agreement with Barnes' company would end in a courtroom.

A year after being arrested by state marshals in Ohio and extradited to Michigan, a judge handed down Barnes' sentence, with McPherson standing close by.

The sentence includes two years of probation, a 60-day jail sentence, fines and court fees nearing $2,000, and of course, restitution in the amount of $30,920.

Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Joe Costello finds the sentence fair.

"He will not be able to expunge this record," Costello said. "And the importance of it is he cannot discharge this restitution in bankruptcy, because this is part of a criminal case."

McPherson is relieved to know he'll get his money back.

"It's gonna be a relief for me and my family," he said. "The real victim was my wife, but she looking down, knowing it's done."

Barnes originally faced the felony charge of larceny by conversion. He was accused of taking McPherson's money, but never making good on the contract. Barnes later pleaded guilty to two counts of unlicensed residential builder, and promised to repay the money he stole.

McPherson spoke of his wife before court. He was convinced she'd be pleased of the sentence, after the emotional toll the ordeal took on her family.

"She'll be happy to know that the stress level is gonna finally go down," he said.

The case of Chris Barnes may cross state lines. Both the Ohio Attorney General's Office, as well as Lucas County, are looking into claims that Barnes may have cheated others out of money like he did McPherson.

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