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Accused officer gets new attorney; trial date set

updated: 8/30/2013 10:05 AM

Bryan Drew has been appointed to represent William P. McKinney, accused of aggravated battery, official misconduct and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Roy D. Barnhart, 62, of Buckner.
The appointment came after another attorney withdrew due to a conflict.
McKinney was in Franklin County court on Aug. 28, and listened as Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge Paul W. Lamar explained that another attorney, Dave Garavalia, had filed a motion to withdraw as his attorney.
Lamar said Garavalia submitted a letter to the court after being appointed by the judge to represent McKinney, citing a conflict of interest. Lamar said Garavalia serves as attorney for the village of Buckner.
Drew said he had not had an opportunity to meet with his client and requested the charges against McKinney be read instead of waiving the right.
Lamar accepted a motion from Public Defender Eric Dirnbeck, who filed a motion to withdraw during McKinney's Aug. 14 court appearance, after Dirnbeck also cited a conflict of interest.
Dirnbeck said McKinney, a Buckner police officer at the time of his arrest, is listed as a witness in several pending cases. Lamar said another public defender, Michael A. Rowland, also cited a conflict of interest.
The grand jury returned a bill of indictment, filed in Franklin County Circuit Court on July 19, charging McKinney with the offenses. Count 1 of the indictment states that the police officer caused great bodily harm to Barnhart. McKinney allegedly without lawful justification pushed the defendant to the ground and struck him in the head while Barnhart was handcuffed with his hands behind his back.
Count 2 of the indictment alleges that McKinney performed an act which he knew was forbidden by law to perform, in that he pushed Barnhart to the ground and struck him in the head while the defendant was handcuffed with his hands behind his back.
County 3 states McKinney committed the offense of involuntary manslaughter, alleging that the officer acted in a reckless manner and unintentionally killed Barnhart.
Franklin County State's Attorney Evan L. Owens was advised at 7:51 a.m. on July 12 that Barnhart died in a St. Louis area hospital after he was arrested by McKinney.
Information filed by Owens on July 11 states that Barnhart was charged with resisting a peace officer while performing his official duties on July 7. The information states that Barnhart was pushing a peace officer and fleeing toward his residence after being advised multiple times to stop and comply with officers before he was arrested.
The victim was transported to the Franklin Hospital by Abbott EMS following his arrest and later transported to a St. Louis hospital.
Illinois State Police conducted the investigation into the death of Barnhart and McKinney was suspended by the village pending the results of the invetigation.
Circuit Judge Thomas T. Tedeschi signed an arrest warrant for McKinney on July 19.
McKinney remains in the Franklin County Jail Facility. Bond has been set at $500,000.
Lamar set an Nov. 5 jury trial, and a Oct. 31 final pre-trial in the case. McKinney is due back in court on Sept. 25 for a pre-trial conference.