Parolee son jailed after giving dad a birthday gift he didn't want - a gun

The father of 30-year-old Nicholas A. Barrett had called his son's parole officer to report the weapon and told him he no longer wanted his son's parole address listed as the father's home


By Tony Reid
Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

DECATUR, Ill. — An adult son on parole who presented his father with a birthday gift he didn't want — a .50 caliber long gun — appeared in court Wednesday denying a weapons charge.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said the father of 30-year-old Nicholas A. Barrett had called his son's parole officer to report the weapon and told him he no longer wanted his son's parole address listed as the father's home.

The father also called police and Officer Joe Oberheim, who signed the statement, said he seized the weapon which he identified as a Traditions Pursuit Pro black powder gun, which was not loaded.

The father, who turned 54 on Sunday, said his son had suddenly walked into the garage of his home Aug. 10 carrying the gun inside a guitar case.

"(The father) advised Nicholas pulled the gun out of the guitar case and said 'Here is an early birthday present,'" said Oberheim.

"(The father) stated the gun has been left inside of the garage since Nicholas brought it home."

A 48-year-old witness confirmed the father's version of events. He said Barrett had walked in at first asking "If anybody knew how to play a guitar?" before opening the case to reveal the heavy caliber weapon.

Barrett waived a preliminary hearing in his Wednesday morning appearance in Macon County Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also denies violation of his parole. Judge Rodney Forbes scheduled a pretrial hearing for Oct. 3.

A check of court records shows Barrett was sentenced to 18 months in prison in October of 2021 after pleading guilty to a charge of identity theft.

He remained held in the Macon County Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $10,000, requiring him to post a bond of $1,000 to be released.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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