Barber trial starts Wednesday

Steve Barber

Updated 9:45 a.m. June 2As jury selection continued into day two Thursday morning, the defense for Steve Barber requested a change of venue for the trial. The defense is citing what it calls prejudicial publicity in media coverage of the case and message boards on websites. The prosecution opposed the change of venue, saying a larger than usual number of potential jurors was summoned just for that reason. The judge overruled the motion for a change of venue. Jury selection is now continuing. The original jury pool of 100 people has now been narrowed to 24 potential jurors. Testimony is to start immediately after the jury is selected.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Updated 4:50 p.m. June1

The long awaited trial of a prominent Kirksville dentist began Wednesday morning in Adair County Circuit Court.

Steve Barber, 72, is charged with two counts of tampering with a witness, charges that could send him to jail if convicted.

The first day was busy with jury selection as both the prosecution and defense teams spent the day trying to select a jury.

The trial is expected to last about three days.


The trial of a long time Kirksville dentist, charged with two felony counts, is set to begin Wednesday in Adair County Circuit Court.

Steve Barber, 72, is charged with two counts of tampering with a witness, in connection with the criminal case against long time Kirksville attorney Tom Oswald.

Barber was indicted by an Adair County Grand Jury back in June of 2009. He is accused of offering to pay $150,000 to the parents of the victim in the Oswald case, in exchange the victims parents would not cooperate with the prosecution.

Tom Oswald The 85-year-old Oswald is serving a seven year prison term, after pleading guilty in the related case. Jury selection begins Wednesday morning in the Barber case. The case is being heard by Scotland County Associate Circuit Judge Karl DeMarce, after Adair County Judge Russell Steele recused himself from the case.

Barber is represented by Kirksville attorney Ed Campbell, while Adair County Prosecutor Matt Wilson is handling the case for the state.