Man shot, killed by U.S. Marshals had lengthy issues with judges, ex-wife

BETHEL TWP., Clark County — A man wanted for threatening a judge was killed after U.S. Marshals said he shot at them while they were trying to arrest him this morning.

The shooting appears to be a culmination of a years long battle involving lengthy divorce proceedings.

The U.S. Marshals Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team responded to the house in the 300 block of North Hampton Road around sunrise.

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“The suspect fired a weapon at the team, and a member of the task force returned fire, striking the suspect,” a spokesman said. “No law enforcement officer injuries occurred.”

Douglas C. Barton, 50, of Bethel Twp., Clark County, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

Authorities said one agent returned fire in the shooting and that person will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard with officer-involved shootings.

“We did hear a gunshot and kind of assumed the worst,” said Larry Marvel, who lives several houses away from the shooting scene. “Obviously he didn’t want to get caught.”

Armored vehicles were on scene, along with officers from multiple jurisdictions, were at the home throughout the morning.

The team was attempting to arrest Barton who was wanted on a warrant out of Stark County, Ohio for making threats to a judge. Barton had threatened retired Stark County Family Court Judge David Stucki, who had presided over Barton’s court case in Greene County, according to court records.

The case was dismissed today after the court was notified of Barton’s death, records showed.

Neighbors said they’d been contacted in recent days by law enforcement, who asked to use part of their property for the investigation.

“We kind of figured that something was up,” Marvel said. “I’m really glad they were trying to minimize everything.”

Barton has a history of issues involving judges leading up to the deadly shooting.

In 2013, he attempted to sue Greene County Domestic Relations Judge Steven Hurley and others associated with the domestic court over what he called a violation of his civil rights in connection to a protection order involving his ex-wife, federal court records show. The case was eventually thrown out by a U.S. District Court judge.

Barton also was involved in a standoff with Fairborn police in October 2015 after he was accused of making suicidal and homicidal statements at the Dayton VA, but left prior to his admission.

“I was advised by the information received by dispatch that Mr. Barton made statements to kill the judge, the attorney and his ex-wife,” a Fairborn incident report read.

Barton had been appealing decisions that were made in his divorce case at the time of the standoff. The divorce was filed in Greene County court back in 2013, records show.

Barton had been dating the woman who owns the house where Friday’s deadly shooting happened, records show.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting and the U.S. Marshals also will conduct an internal review once BCI completes its investigation.