The preliminary hearing for William J. Barnes, charged with murder in the death of Philadelphia Police Officer Walter T. Barclay, was postponed today because Barnes was hospitalized after reportedly that he was feeling faint.
"My main concern is the health of Mr. Barnes. He's had two heart attacks already. A third one has always been right around the corner," said his defense lawyer, Bobby Hoof.
Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Bradley K. Moss said the hearing has been postponed at least until Friday and perhaps until late February.
Moss said that Barnes, 71, had been taken to Frankford Hospital-Torresdale Campus this morning after stating that he felt dizzy, and that, because of his age, doctors decided to keep him hospitalized for tests.
The judge said Barnes was said to be in stable condition, and that "if everything checks out," he would likely be returned to the city prison system tomorrow.
Barclay, who was paralyzed when Barnes shot him on Nov. 27, 1966, died in August at age 64 of a urinary-tract infection. Barnes served 20 years for shooting Barclay, who was a rookie officer, and now faces a murder charge.