Document obtained by CFC: Conduct Board based its decision in part on PPD detective's testimony; prior arrest involving piece of beef jerky

IN AN INTERESTING TWIST in the case of Cougar d-lineman Robert Barber being booted from school by WSU’s Conduct Board, the board’s decision was based in part on testimony from a Pullman Police Department detective, a document obtained by shows. Here’s why that is interesting.

The Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney has still filed no charges against Barber for his actions in the melee at a live-out fraternity party July 23 that is at the center of the case that has dominated headlines for two months.

In addition, the document shows, the Conduct Board bolstered its case to expel Barber by citing what can only be described as a surreal March 2015 incident involving a thrown piece of beef jerky.

Yes, the Barber case gets curiouser and curiouser.

In the document, the Conduct Board bases its decision in part on sworn testimony from a Pullman Police Department detective, as well as the person Barber is alleged to have struck in the fracas, an unnamed WSU student and resident of the home where the party took place.

The document states everyone was asked to leave the party after someone had tossed a firecracker into the crowd and a “melee broke ought (sic)." The document states that video evidence shows Barber striking the complainant, facing away from Barber, in the face and then striking him again on the ground. “The paramedics found the Complainant unconscious and bleeding …”

The document quoted Barber as saying he panicked and punched after getting pushed or hit from the side during the melee.

“We do not believe your claims of self-defense,” the Conduct Board told Barber, adding that it finds the senior form American Samoa violated two state administrative codes: abuse of others and reckless endangerment.

The document states the board made this and other findings of fact by a preponderance of evidence (more likely than not).

“You are expelled from WSU. Moreover, it is the specific intention of the Conduct Board that you not be allowed to graduate from this University,” the Board communicated to Barber in its document dated Sept. 13.

Barber appealed that decision and it became known this week that his appeal was denied.

As for how beef jerky helped the Conduct Board in its decision making, here’s a brief paraphrasing from the official document CF.C obtained:

In March 2015, Barber came to the aid of a friend who was arrested by a police officer for throwing a piece of beef jerky at a car (no, we are not making this up) and exchanged words with laughing passersby as well as an off-duty police officer. The document says Barber thought the off-duty officer was a mocking fraternity member (as the off-duty officer was laughing at him) and Barber threatened him, leading to Barber’s arrest for harassment of a police officer. The board concluded Barber had not learned a lesson from being arrested in the March 2015 incident.

*** UPDATE: WSU issues press release reaffirming its support of student conduct process***

Barber did not have legal representation at his Sept. 7 hearing in front of the Conduct Board but was joined by director of football operations Antonio Huffman and associate dean of students Karen Fisher, according to the document.

Barber, a fifth-year senior, began the semester one credit shy of graduating and was expected to receive his degree at the end of this term. The Conduct Board's ruling resulted in Barber's immediate suspension from both the university and football program. Per the ruling, Barber is not eligible to apply for reinstatement to the university until July 2017.

RELATED STORY: Legal expert says Barber being treated unjustly by Conduct Board

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