Husband of alleged bank robber says wife "not there"
A Carson City man said Wednesday that his wife, bank robbery suspect Rachel Barrett, had been depressed since the June death of their 9-month-old daughter from a degenerative disease and that, combined with a seizure disorder and a cocktail of prescribed anti-depressants, may have contributed to her alleged crime.
“I spoke to her dad, and he said from the pictures it looked like something just snapped in her mind. Maybe from the medication and the seizures. He said she just looked blank,” said Matthew Barrett, 44. “She’s tried to kill herself several times. I think she needs psychiatric help.”
According to Carson City detectives, Rachel Barrett, 30, walked into Nevada State Bank, 4267 S. Carson St., just after 9 a.m., showed a weapon in the waistband of her jeans and announced, “Everyone, put your hands up.” She then allegedly passed the clerk a note demanding money. The note read, in part, “Any mistakes and I start shooting,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong.
According to Furlong, when Barrett fled the bank she tried to get into an SUV parked next to a nearby shop, but a witness spotted her and Barrett instead fled on foot to her home at the Mountain View Village apartments a third of a mile away, said Furlong.
The police report indicates officers closed in on Barrett’s apartment after running the plate on the SUV and from a tracking device placed in the bank money.
Matthew Barrett said that when he parted ways with his wife Tuesday morning, everything seemed normal.
“My wife gave me a kiss goodbye and said she was going to her doctor’s appointment at mental health, and we (Barrett and his 5-year-old daughter) went over to the bowling alley first and played a couple video games, and then we walked over to the duck pond,” he said.
When police began searching the neighborhood after the robbery, they found him and his daughter at Ross Gold Park, 280 Appion Way. Barrett told police he saw someone matching the bank robber’s description getting into a blue pickup truck in front of the fire station on Snyder Avenue.
“They asked me if I’d seen anybody, and I said, ‘Yeah I did.’ I told them what the person was wearing, and I guess it matched the robber, and I told them what kind of vehicle they jumped into,” he said. “I said they had on a camouflage hat and a pair of (ripped) jeans. I didn’t recognize that to be Rachel, but I didn’t pay that much attention because I had my daughter.”
Barrett said he learned of his wife’s alleged involvement when officers asked him for a key to his apartment.
He denied any involvement in the planning or execution of a robbery.
“I didn’t know a thing,” he said. “The night before, we watched movies and played with my daughter. We did regular family stuff.”
Barrett said that after his wife’s arrest, he was kept out of the apartment as police executed a search warrant. They found the bank money, clothing matching the robber’s, a pellet gun and a portion of the demand note, Furlong said.
Matthew Barrett said that when he returned to his apartment later in the evening, detectives had left behind court documents.
“They left me a full police report on the counter, the search warrant, affidavit, and pictures of her from the bank,” he said. “I look at them, and I don’t understand. I can see what her dad was talking about – she doesn’t look like she was there.”
On June 22, the couple’s 9-month-old daughter, Nicole, died of complications from spinal muscular atrophy, a group of inherited diseases that cause muscle degeneration and weakness, eventually leading to death.
The next day, police reports indicate, Rachel Barrett swallowed some 90 pain pills and was taken to the hospital.
She remains in jail on $40,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 25.