DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Naperville Chief of Police Jason Arres announced today that Judge Michael Reidy granted the State’s motion to deny bond for an Aurora man accused of opening fire on another man outside a Naperville bar last weekend. James Barnett, 27 (d.o.b. 7/8/1995) of the 0-100 block of Root Street, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Reidy granted the State’s motion to deny bond. Barnett is charged with one count of Armed Habitual Criminal (Class X Felony), one count of Aggravated Battery - Discharge of a Firearm (Class X Felony) and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 2 Felony). On March 16, 2023, Judge Joshua Dieden issued a $1 million full cash arrest warrant for Barnett. Barnett was taken into custody last night without incident.
On March 11, 2023, at approximately 11:35 p.m., officers with the Naperville Police Department responded to a call in downtown Naperville regarding a patron who was causing a disturbance when asked to leave an establishment on Jefferson Avenue. While officers were speaking to employees of the establishment, they were alerted to gun shots at the back of the building. Officers responded to a parking lot behind the building where they found a male with a gunshot wound to his right leg. An investigation into the shooting led to Barnett as a suspect. It is alleged that Barnett, the victim and another man were out together that evening and left the establishment together. It is alleged that the three men entered a car and that once inside the car, a verbal argument began. It is alleged that the three men then exited the car and Barnett retrieved a gun that was inside the car. It is further alleged that Barnett then shot the victim in the leg and fled the scene.
“Opening fire in downtown Naperville on a Saturday night, as alleged against Mr. Barnett, demonstrates an absolute disregard for public safety and contempt for the rule of law,” Berlin said. “This type of violent crime is extremely serious and will most certainly not be tolerated in DuPage County. In addition to allegedly shooting another man in the leg, Mr. Barnett’s alleged actions endangered the life of not only the victim in this case, but also the lives of innocent residents enjoying a night out. I commend the Naperville Police Department whose incredibly thorough investigation allowed us to file charges against Mr. Barnett. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Adam Frahm and Helen Kapas for their efforts in securing strong charges against Mr. Barnett.”
“Violence of any kind cannot and will not be tolerated in our city. Gun violence, especially,” Arres said. “This was an excellent job by the officers on scene to work through the situation that evening, provide aid to the victim, and later apprehend the suspect. Our detectives should be commended for their tireless efforts in following up on this case and securing charges. Lastly, I would like to thank DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his office for their assistance and collaboration with this case; it is truly appreciated.”
Barnett’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 11, 2023, for arraignment in front of Judge Reidy.
Members of the public are reminded that these complaints contain only charges and are not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.