Wearing a t-shirt and shorts and leg irons, Sean Barnes told US Magistrate judge Linda Walker he wanted a lawyer but couldn't afford one.
It was the latest courtroom appearance for Barnes, a former City of Atlanta employee, who has been fighting charges off and on for two years relating to an earlier Atlanta Police arrest.
That arrest was back in the fall of 2015. Atlanta Police accused Sean Barnes of throwing a block through the front window of E.R. Mitchell's home back in 2015. The handwritten warning: Shut Up. He is also accused of spreading dead rats around Mitchell's home.
Mitchell recently plead guilty in Federal court to paying more than a million dollars in bribes to secure Atlanta city contracts. His lawyer, Craig Gillen, says Mitchell is cooperating with the FBI.
The 5 count indictment alleges Barnes, intimidated, threatened, harassed and retaliated against Mitchell in an effort to hinder Mitchell's cooperation with federal authorities.
Barnes was once a business partner with Mitzi Bickers, another fformer city employee and one time fundraiser for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
The FBI has subpoenaed hundreds of boxes of material relating to Mitzi Bicker's work at city hall. Assistant US Attorney, Curt Erskine, has yet to identify who Mitchell gave the money to.
Mayor Reed has aid the city is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's office.
A Fulton County grand jury charged Barnes with threatening E.R. Mitchell, but the case was dropped when the Fulton County prosecutor couldn't get all the evidence in the hands of the U.S. Attorney's office.
Now, a US Grand Jury has indicted Barnes on 5 counts of harassing, intimidating, and retaliating against ER Mitchell, in an effort to hinder the bribery investigation.
Barnes told magistrate judge Linda Walker he is pleading not guilty. Judge Walker set a bond hearing for next Monday.