Bob Buckley for The Examiner: Repentance, then a Life of Service to Others

December 21, 2021

Bob Buckley, partner at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, is a regular columnist for The Examiner of East Jackson County. In his latest column, Buckley closes out his reflection of his close friend, Barbie Daniels. Buckley shares the impact her life had on students, colleagues and the greater community.

The article, Repentance, then a Life of Service to Others, was published in the December 17 edition of The Examiner. An excerpt from the article is below.

Last week, I introduced you to my friend, Barbie Daniels, whose life and family were nearly destroyed by her addiction and life of dealing illegal drugs. She knows that she would have died one night in November 2012 if the Independence Police Department had not come to her house and prevented a robbery and murder.

Three people were murdered that same night, including an innocent child in a similar occurrence. The Apostle Paul had his conversion on the Road to Damascus after living his own life of persecuting and aiding others in the murder of Christians. Paul was blinded in his conversion experience. Barbie’s eyes were opened in hers that one November night and on the streets of Kansas City; she knew that she had to make dramatic changes in her own life and leave her life of self-destruction.

One of her biggest challenges on her road to recovery was finding a good job. She worked in a nursing home for minimum wage, but she could not live in the Healing House indefinitely and she knew that she needed to provide a decent home for her and her two daughters that could only happen if she found a better job.

She still had those charges pending against her that dated back to her arrest in November 2012. If those charges remained, her chances of getting a better job were minimal. I am no criminal lawyer. I have never handled a criminal case in my long career. My pastor asked me to assist Barbie, which was an odd request because of my lack of experience in that realm.

Yet I agreed to talk to the prosecutor to see if we could work out a plea arrangement that changed more serious charges into less serious ones. I decided that the truth was the best option, so I told the prosecutor her story and explained how she had made dramatic changes in her life.

Whatever I said must have worked because she walked out of the court that day with a conviction for littering. When Barbie gives her testimony, which she does quite well, she loves to say that the only conviction she has ever received despite her life of drug dealing and other crimes to support her addiction is for littering.