Judge hands case against JCPD officer accused of DWI to special prosecutor

Cole County Judge Pat Joyce signed an order on Thursday appointing a special prosecutor in the case of a Jefferson City Police Officer suspected of driving while intoxicated.Rachael Barnard was arrested on Oct. 24 after witnesses reported she struck a vehicle in the 1600 block of Tanner Bridge Road and then left the scene. Barnard was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. Jefferson City Police investigated the incident.Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson requested that a special prosecutor be assigned because Barnard is a witness in cases pending in Richardson's office. Richardson told KRCG the special prosecutor was needed to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.The case was originally handled by the Jefferson City Prosecutor Brian Stumpe who decided the case needed to be escalated to the county level because the damage was valued at more than $1,000.