Americus judge found safe - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus judge found safe

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

A Sumter County State Court Judge is safe after failing to show up for court Thursday morning.

That led to a daylong manhunt by several law enforcement agencies.

Judge Russ Barnes left home around 10 Wednesday night.

His wife called authorities Thursday morning after realizing Barnes never returned.

Sumter County Deputies used cell phone records and video from area businesses to try to track Barnes.

They even used a helicopter in the search.

An Americus Police officer spotted him driving Thursday evening and pulled him over.

Sheriff Pete Smith says Barnes is going through personal issues and just took off.

"He's having some very tough financial times right now. I don't know many people who aren't, but his just kind of escalated, but he's doing much better now," said Sheriff Pete Smith.

Barnes was taken to Phoebe Sumter where at last check he was still being evaluated.

Hearings that he missed Thursday have been rescheduled.

 

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