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KCSO deputy resigns, faces DUI charge

Deputy Will Barnes was given a misdemeanor citation for DUI after a single-vehicle, non-injury car crash in June.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — A Knox County K-9 officer charged last month with misdemeanor DUI has resigned.

Will Barnes left his position July 3, according to Knox County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kimberly Glenn. He'd been on administrative leave.

Barnes has a court hearing in Knox County General Sessions Court in August for the June 11 charge.

He was involved in a single-vehicle, off-duty crash at Garden Drive and Crestwood Road. The Knoxville Police Department investigated.

Barnes appeared to be intoxicated, records state. The KPD officer didn't conduct field sobriety tests because Barnes possibly was injured, records state. He declined to provide a blood sample for testing.

Authorities were alerted to the crash by a 911 caller who saw Barnes' Dodge truck in a ditch.

Barnes is due in court Aug. 26.

The Sheriff's Office is conducting an internal investigation.

PREVIOUS STORY: On June 11, 2020, an off-duty Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy was involved in a single-vehicle, non-injury car wreck. 

The Knoxville Police Department responded to the scene, and Deputy William Barnes was given a misdemeanor citation for DUI, according to the sheriff's office. 

Sheriff Tom Spangler ordered the Office of Professional Standards to conduct an investigation into the incident. Due to the unforeseen difficulties with KPD’s server after a ransomware attack, the investigation was not able to be concluded on Friday, according to the sheriff's office.

KCSO said Deputy Barnes has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Barnes is one of the sheriff's office K-9 handlers.

Credit: KCSO
Deputy William Barnes

Sheriff Spangler said he is deeply disappointed in the deputy’s actions and lack of judgment. He wants to assure the public that his primary concern is their safety as is the safety of his employees.

An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.