Jury finds Barnes not guilty in murder trial

    A Philadelphia jury has found 74-year-old William Barnes not guilty of murder in an odd case that spans decades.

    A Philadelphia jury has found 74-year-old William Barnes not guilty of murder in an odd case that spans decades.

    Barnes shot Police Officer Walter Barclay in 1966.

    Officer Barclay was left paralyzed and prosecutors were trying to prove that his death three years ago was a result of the events decades ago.

    Prosecutors claimed the officer’s death was a result of the shooting decades ago. Thus, Barnes should be held responsible.  But the jury didn’t buy it.

    Outside court, William Barnes’ brother Jimmy called the verdict justice for the family.

    “No disrespect to Mr. Barclay,” said Barnes, “it was a horrible life. But to say my brother was guilty of a homicide 42 years after the fact, with all them intervening factors…”

    After the verdict was read the defendant told his friends and family he loved them.

    Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron says he’s disappointed with the verdict.

    “The law is clear: it doesn’t have to be the immediate cause of death,” says Cameron. “If this caused him to be in a wheelchair and fall out of a wheelchair and hurt himself that way the defendant is responsible.  If him driving a car in a way because he had to do it with hand controls that caused him to be in accidents and hurt his back, the defendant’s responsible.  It’s like the example with the dominos.  If one thing causes the next thing, that causes the next thing, that defendant’s responsible.”

    District Attorney Seth Williams says Officer Barclay’s life was cut short back in 1966 and, while the bullet may not have immediately killed him, it definitely took away his life. Williams says it was a difficult case to prosecute both technically and emotionally.

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