First Texas man charged with murder under new fentanyl law has multiple past convictions

TEXAS - Michael Roger Barnett is accused of murdering Harris County man, Christian Rayo, according to a legal filing on behalf of the State of Texas. Harris County Assistant District Attorney claims Barnett delivered fentanyl to Rayo on Nov. 16, which led to Rayo's death.

According to released court documents, Barnett faces charges for both possession and transferring fentanyl to Rayo, as well as offering to sell it.

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Court documents indicate Barnett has an open case already for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, in which he threatened a man, Jervie Gillard, and instilled fear in him. Officials say Barnett used a weapon with the intention of stealing from Gillard.

Officials say Barnett was out on bail for the case in 2019 when he sold drugs to Rayo. Texas' Assistant District Attorney recently filed a court filing asking for Barnett's bail to be set at a reasonable amount.

<div>Michael Barnett</div>
Michael Barnett

The court documents show the request emphasizing that bail should reflect the nature of his crime history, and current crime and provide assurance that Barnett will appear in court. Prosecutors are asking for Barnett's bond to be set at $500,000.


Prosecutors in the case also outlined Barnett's past criminal history, including previous convictions, dismissed charges, and guilty pleas. They also draw attention to specific instances, such as Barnett's prior conviction for disorderly conduct with a firearm and terroristic threats, even bodily injury to a child under 15.

<div>Christian Rayo, 27</div>
Christian Rayo, 27

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Officials have also requested specific conditions for Barnett's release, including a curfew between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm, no contact with Rayo's family, prohibition from possessing firearms or weapons, and no alcohol and drugs unless prescribed.

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Authorities are also requesting all Barnett's electronics be monitored by the courts under the curfews and rules. As of now, Barrett's bond has not been approved, and he is currently in jail.  Barnett's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 28.