Steve Barber manages to avoid second trial

Dr. Steve Barber of Kirksville

A former Kirksville dentist avoids a second trial in his witness-tampering case.

Online court records indicate that in Adair County Circuit Court Thursday, Dr. Steve Barber entered Alford pleas to two counts of tampering with a witness.

Barber's previous five-year sentence was suspended, and Judge Karl DeMarce instead placed Barber on three years supervised probation.

The longtime Kirksville dentist had previously been convicted on the two counts of tampering with a witness in the sex case involving Barber's friend, the late Tom Oswald, a longtime Kirksville attorney.

Missouri's Western District Court of Appeals had thrown out Barber's conviction and sent the case back to Adair County Circuit Court for a retrial because a portion of his testimony in his first trial did not get recorded due to technical problems.

Barber had remained free on bond since his conviction.