by Lauren Ball
Sara Barnes might just be the most hated woman in Central Florida after burning down what was the oldest pond cypress tree in the world, the “Senator,” whose ashy remnants now remain in Big Tree Park. Yesterday Barnes, who was also addicted to meth at the time of the torching, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to five years of probation (including periodic drug tests) and 250 hours of community service. Judge Galluzzo also ordered Barnes to pay a grand total of $13,981 in fines for the removal of our beloved Senator’s poor, scorched stump and investigation costs.For the moment, Barnes will be walking among us while paying off her evildoing with manual labor. However, though prison time is not usually the penalty for tree burning per sentencing guidelines, if Barnes violates her probation she'll be sent directly to the slammer.