published Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Judge: Hearing delayed while Barnes undergoes mental evaluations

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    Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press - November 03, 2010. Antonio Henry, 25, listens as the prosecution presents evidence against him during his preliminary hearing at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Judge Bob Moon's courtroom on Wednesday. Henry allegedly murdered Pastor David Strong after being asked to perform sex acts. Henry and his 16-year-old cousin Brendan Barnes are charged with criminal impersonation, felony murder, and aggrivated robbery.

Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey has passed a transfer hearing for the 16-year-old suspect in an Oct. 5 killing. The hearing has been delayed until Feb. 3 as Brendan Barnes undergoes competency testing and mental health evaluations.

Barnes was arrested in October as was his 25-year-old cousin Antonio Henry in connection with the beating death of Pastor David Strong.

Strong's body was found decomposing in his home days after police believe he was killed.

Barnes was charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated burglary. Police say the pair beat and stabbed Strong on Oct. 5 before stealing his car and debit card.

In interviews with the Times Free Press, Henry said the pastor made unwanted sexual advances that prompted he and his cousin to violence.

Police have called the death a robbery gone wrong and have discounted Henry's claims, testifying in court that Henry admitted to previous visits to Strong's home to perform sex acts for money, according to newspaper archives.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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twilliams said...

This is ridiculous!!! I mean seriously? You have had him since October...what 90 plus days and decide a mental evaluation is needed? This is crazy. I really do not understand this logic. It would have made more sense to have had all of this done upon his arrest and intake process. This is so frustrating.

January 6, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.
Big_Myth said...

twilliams, frustrating or not, the judge is following the law. If you disagree then work to change the law, or better yet go to college and study the law.

January 6, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
twilliams said...

Big_Myth, you are talking to someone with two degrees. I never said the judge was not following the law you idiot. I was just saying that as long as he's been in custody that all of this should have been done and completed.

January 6, 2011 at 10:56 p.m.
ceeweed said...

The law does not allow for the execution of juveniles or the mentally retarded. Perhaps this 16 year old is both.

January 7, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
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