Michael Barnes Legal Aid

I never thought that my dad could ever end up in prison. He was a devoted father, coaching my brother and I in sports growing up, teaching us to become mature young men. But in 2011, he was falsely accused of theft by his former employers. We chose to fight these accusations and clear his name. In the beginning my father used all of our families savings to hire an attorney to hopefully win the trial and return to a life surrounded by a loving family.

After 4 long years of battling to clear his name of these accusations, we lost this court battle in 2015 and sentenced 15 years behind bars with another 10 years of probation after the fact. For the next couple of years my dad moved around to multiple camps and in that time the only communication I had was when he would call me. This was hard. As a freshman in college, living away from home, my family, and my girlfriend, I was in need of a father’s wise words. In the last couple of years my dad moved to a new camp and has been there ever since, this was good because he was close enough to make visits a reality. Even though we are allowed visitation, the hours and days are limited and on top of that, being a college student and working leaves little time to make road trips.

However, over the years instead of sulking in misery, my dad has been proactive and studied (probably harder than me sometimes) law. He was able to find multiple flaws in the trial, and after speaking with a few attorneys, he realized that we actually have a chance to clear his name, or at least attempt to get him out of prison with "time served." I am just hoping that my dad can get to come home so our lives can go back to a sense of "normalcy." These last few years have devastated my family to our core, but we have been able to stay a family, through the ups and downs through it all. We have since hired an attorney that my family believed would give us the best shot at winning this appeal case and freeing my dad. The fact that we have raised enough money to pay an attorney has made my family ecstatic. The down side is that the legal system is lengthy and there are many roads that this case can take. If this appeal leads to a new trial it is just going to lead to us needing to come up with even more money. Best case scenario we can avoid an expensive trial, but trying to plan ahead, reaching the goal of $40,000 would allow us to be comfortable in the fight to come.

My family looks forward to thanking each and every one of you for your help. Please help my dad make it back for at least one of my graduations to come.
  • Yvette Stanway
    • $100 
    • 24 mos
  • Dineliz
    • $30 
    • 27 mos
  • Beth Landry
    • $75 (Offline)
    • 43 mos
  • Linda Beaver
    • $250 (Offline)
    • 45 mos
  • Ray Barnes
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 46 mos
See all


Austin Barnes
St. Augustine, FL

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