Florida Department of Corrections
A Longwood attorney began his suspension from the practice of law Sunday after, the Florida Bar and witnesses say, he threw a flagpole through a window of his ex-girlfriend’s home.
Barrett Burnette’s suspension by the Florida Supreme Court was announced by the Bar last week.
The length of that suspension remains to be determined by the discipline process. The length of Burnette’s legal community control runs two years, followed by two years of supervised probation that runs out Aug. 11, 2023.
Burnette pleaded nolo contendre to aggravated stalking with a credible threat, misdemeanor battery, and two counts of criminal mischief with property damage.
The flagpole and the window in the Aug. 7, 2018, incident belonged to Dara Bagwell, with whom Burnette had been in an off-and-on, cohabitation-not cohabitation relationship for a decade, and Bagwell’s family.
The arrest report says Burnette had been swinging by Bagwell’s house twice a day since July 4, 2018, two days after Bagwell broke up with Burnette. But Deborah Bagwell, Dara’s mother, said Burnette’s Aug. 7, 2018, visit started with a vodka bottle through the rear window of the family’s Ford F-150. After bending the truck’s antenna, he broke the driver’s side window on their Toyota Rav4 by throwing a yard ornament at it.
Both the Bagwell women and Dara’s father, Stanley Bagwell, say Burnette took a flagpole from under an overhang, smashed the rear driver side tail light of the Rav4, then broke the front window with two strikes. They said Barrett finished his tantrum by throwing the flagpole through the window, into the house.
After Burnette was arrested, the court issued a standard stay away order should he post bond. Burnette posted bond and violated the stay away order, as well as a restraining order Deborah Bagwell had against him. He repeatedly drove past the Bagwell home, a place he was supposed to avoid by at least 500 feet.
“While I was interviewing Dara and Deborah Bagwell, I noticed every time a vehicle passed in front ofhte house, boath of them looked out of the window anxiously and it was obvious they were in fear,” Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Bar Lemons said.
Bagwell’s brother, Sterling Thompson, told police after leaving the family home, Bagwell passed him on the road and “it appeared Burnette was holding up a cell phone when he passed him and it seems like he was taking his picture.”
Burnette was arrested Oct. 18, 2018, and remained in jail until his sentencing in August.
This wasn’t the first time the legal system got involved with Burnette and Bagwell’s relationship.
After an April 21, 2017, argument, Burnette’s mother called police to report that Bagwell pulled a Glock on Burnette. Burnette and Bagwell each said they just had a verbal argument and Bagwell always has the gun in her purse.
“I asked Dara why she doesn’t get her concealed carry license if she is going to carry all the time and she stated she didn’t have time to get it. Dara also advised that she had drank approximately 8.5 ounces of vodka that day. She was visibly intoxicated.”
Bagwell was arrested on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon/unlicensed firearm. She pleaded down to disorderly conduct.