Former officer charged in man’s death takes plea deal

A former Illinois police officer charged in a man’s death plead guilty in court on Thursday.

According to the Franklin County State’s Attorney, the incident began in July of 2013, when Officer William McKinney of the Buckner Police Department responded to a dispute on East Main Street.

Two other officers also responded. One of those officers was physically assaulted by 62-year-old Roy Barnhart. Barnhart then tried to run away, but was stopped when he was tazered.

Barnhart was arrested by Officer McKinney. After Barnhart was handcuffed, Officer McKinney struck him with his hand on the right side of his face.

Barnhart was then taken to Herrin Hospital and later flown to St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He was treated for a head injury which caused a brain bleed, but died a few days later.

McKinney was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery of a senior citizen, and official misconduct.

On Thursday, McKinney plead guilty to Official Misconduct. He has been sentenced to 18 months of periodic imprisonment.

He has also been ordered to pay for the costs of his incarceration, all medical bills incurred while in custody, a $1,000 fine plus court costs, and must contribute $1,000 to the Franklin County Drug Program.

The family of Barnhart was consulted on the terms of the plea deal.

McKinney is to report to the Franklin County Sheriff on January 3, 2015 to serve out the remainder of this sentence.

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