A judge denied a request yesterday to set bail for William Barnes, charged with the murder of a former Philadelphia police officer who was shot on duty in 1966 and died last month.
But Municipal Court Judge James DeLeon ordered that Barnes, 71, be held in the medical unit of Graterford Prison, where he is being detained, because of his history of heart troubles.
"The fear is he will not make it to trial," said Barnes' public defender, Bobby Hoof, adding Barnes recently had been "roughed up" in the general prison population.
Barnes is charged with the murder of former Police Officer Walter Barclay, who died in August at the age of 64 from complications of a urinary tract infection.
Barnes has already served a 20-year prison term for wounding and paralyzing Barclay while trying to escape arrest in a break-in in November 1966.
District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham charged Barnes with murder Sept. 3 after deciding that Barclay's fatal infection was directly linked to his original injuries.
Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron did not object to Barnes' being placed in a medical unit, but sternly opposed the bail request.
He said that during the more than four decades Barnes had spent behind bars on various charges, he had escaped three times and stabbed another inmate.
"It's a horrendous crime and he has a horrendous record," Cameron said.
DeLeon in the meantime postponed the preliminary hearing for Barnes until Dec. 11.