McKinney enters ‘not guilty’ plea to all charges

BENTON –  William P. McKinney, the former Buckner police officer facing charges in the death of Roy D. Barnhart, has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges.  Barnhart was also a Buckner resident.

During a court appearance on Wednesday, the 60-yer-old McKinney was also appointed a new attorney — his third attorney since the charges were filed six weeks ago — after newly-appointed attorney David Garavalia withdrew due to a conflict of interest.  Garavalia was appointed only last week to replace Eric Dirnbeck who also cited a conflict in representing McKinney.  Veteran Benton attorney Brian Drew was appointed by Judge Paul Lamar to represent McKinney.

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 charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery of a senior citizen and official misconduct in connection with the death of Barnhart.

A jury trial was set for Nov. 5.  McKinney remains in custody at Franklin County Jail.






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