Garavalia appointed as attorney for former Buckner police officer charged with involuntary manslaughter

Staff Report

Benton attorney David Garavalia has been appointed as legal counsel for former Buckner police officer William P. McKinney, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 62-year-old Roy D. Barnhart, of Buckner.

The appointment of Garavalia to replace Eric Dirnbeck, who had previously filed a motion to withdraw as McKinney’s attorney due to a conflict of interest, took place during a Wednesday court hearing in Franklin County Circuit.

The incident that led to McKinney’s arrest took place on July 7 when the former Buckner officer responded, along with other law enforcement officers, to a report of a fight in progress.  Barnhart and McKinney engaged in a heated argument before Barnhart was placed under arrest.  Several witnesses told authorities that McKinney continued to beat Barnhart after he was handcuffed and on the ground.  Barnhart died four days later in a St. Louis hospital.

McKinney is also charged with aggravated battery of a senior citizen and official misconduct in connection with the death of Barnhart.

McKinney is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday, August 28 in Franklin County Court.

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