FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

Judge Orders Murder Trial for Convict Who Paralyzed Officer in 1966

February 29, 2008  | 

A Philadelphia judge has ordered a 71-year-old onetime career criminal to stand trial for murder in the shooting of a police officer in 1966. The officer died last year after being paralyzed for 41 years by his assailant's bullet.

William J. Barnes had already been convicted of shooting the officer and was serving time for the crime. Now under Pennsylvania law he could be convicted of murder if the prosecution can show an "unbroken chain" between the initial injury and the death of his victim, Officer Walter T. Barclay.

Acting medical examiner Ian Hood said at Wednesday's preliminary hearing that the urinary tract infection and sepsis that killed Barclay last year at age 64 were a complication of his paralysis.

Municipal Court Judge Bradley K. Moss said that he had studied cases in Pennsylvania and other states and found that the murder charges were warranted. However, the judge said that he found no case involving such a long time delay as the Barclay murder.

Barnes lawyer Bobby Hoof is expected to argue that there is no unbroken chain because no autopsy was performed on Barclay and his medical records date back only to 1977. Hoof also told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Barclay was in two car accidents after he was paralyzed and that he had hepatitis.

Witnesses who testified during the hearing included retired police officers Herbert Braun and Robert Piateki who responded to the same break-in call with Barclay in November 1966. Both officers told the court that Barnes fired at them as well. He was captured several days after the shooting.

Hoof said he was concened about Barnes' health. The onetime career criminal has spent 48 years of his life in prison. He has had two heart attacks in custody.

After the hearing, Barclay's sister, Rosalyn Harrison, told the local media that she was pleased with the decision. "I do believe the gunshot that he received is what killed him in the end," she said. "From day one, he had urinary-tract infections."

Request more info about this product / service / company


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Homeless Man Killed by LAPD Monday was Convicted Bank Robber, French National
The 39-year-old man shot dead by Los Angeles police officers on skid row Sunday was...
Texas Sergeant's Spoof of McConaughey's Lincoln Ad Goes Viral
In a popular Lincoln commercial, star Matthew McConaughey rides around looking dapper and...
Four Dead in N.C. Shooting Spree
Four people are dead, including the suspected gunman, after a man went on a deadly...
High Court to Hear Appeal From Baltimore Police Officer
The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a former Baltimore city police officer...
Video: Cleveland Blames Boy for Own Death, Then Apologizes
Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland apologized for the language in the city's response to the...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine