Eminence, Mo. bar owner charged with involuntary manslaughter in employee's death; family and friends speak out

Published: Nov. 19, 2018 at 5:49 PM CST
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A Shannon County man is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge Monday following the death of one of his employees over the weekend - a death professionals, the man's family and friends say could have been prevented had someone called 911.

"If he would've had help, he would have lived. Call 911," the victim's niece told KY3.

Monday, family and friends are grieving the loss of Joseph Barnes Jr. or Chaz as he was known around the community.

"Chaz was a giver. He gave and gave and gave and thought and cared and hoped for the best for people," friend John Mark Brewer said.

Saturday afternoon Shannon County Deputies were called to a death at Salty Jacks Bar.

Deputies say surveillance video showed Barnes leaving the upper bar room door followed by bar owner, Shawn Nye, nine hours earlier about 5 am Saturday morning.

Court papers say that's when Barnes fell head first down down the stairs, striking his head on the door.

Deputies say Nye shook Barnes arm but got no response and then stepped over the body before locking the door behind him.

The court records say Nye told the deputy watching the video, "I know I should of called someone but I didn't."

The Shannon County Coroner told investigators, "If Mr. Nye would've contacted EMS, Mr. Barnes would be alive."

Barne's family say he had worked at the bar for several years as the disk jockey.

"His passion was music. He loved music. He loved cooking. Thanksgiving is coming up. He would've cooked all the food. He really just had a passion for his family," Garland exclaimed.

They say he never met a stranger and would only focus on the good in every person he crossed paths with

"Singing for people, singing with people....entertaining them but it was for the love for doing something for someone else," Brewer added.

Barnes' niece hopes this never happens to anyone's loved one.

"See it, say it. Don't just leave them. Don't walk away from it. Call 911, call a friend, call anybody, but give them help."

Nye is out of jail on bond.

No court date has been set.

An autopsy will be performed on Barnes' body Tuesday.