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Ohatchee man pleads not guilty to attempted murder of deputies

An Ohatchee man pleaded not guilty Monday after he was charged in September with trying to kill two Calhoun County sheriff’s deputies.

Fred Lee Barksdale, 25, pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect Monday to two counts of attempted murder. 

Barksdale was initially charged on Sept. 10 with the attempted murder charges and violating a protection from abuse order.

Sheriff Matthew Wade told The Star in September the deputies and an Ohatchee police officer were called to Barksdale’s house on Mudd Street to serve several warrants, but didn’t find him there.

Wade said the deputies and officer then saw a dog behind the house. The animal led them down a wooded trail to where Barksdale and a woman who had previously filed a protection from abuse order against him were sitting inside his parked truck.

According to Wade, they tried to arrest Barksdale, but he started his truck and ran over a deputy, injuring his foot, leg and back, before the other deputy and Ohatchee officer began firing at him.

Wade said Barksdale was struck, while the woman sitting with him was unhurt. Wade said Barksdale was taken to a Birmingham hospital, and arrested when he was released.

An attempt to reach Barksdale’s defense attorney, Justin Wilson, was not immediately successful.

Barksdale remained Thursday in the Calhoun County Jail. Dates for additional hearings or a trial had not been set as of Thursday.

Attempted murder is a Class a felony. If convicted, Barksdale could be sentenced to life in prison and owe up to $60,000 in fines, according to state law.

Contact Staff Writer Mia Kortright at 256-235-3563.