Chattanooga: Hearing reset for teen charged in pastor's slaying

Chattanooga: Hearing reset for teen charged in pastor's slaying

February 21st, 2011 by Chris Carroll in Local Regional News

Brendan Barnes, a 16-year old charged with killing Rev. David Strong, speaks to his attorney Jonathan Turner while making an appearance in Judge Rebecca Stern's courtroom early Monday morning. Staff photo by Dan Henry.

A judge postponed this morning's bond hearing for Brendan Barnes, the teenager charged in the October slaying of a Chattanooga pastor.

The new date is March 21, Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern said.

Barnes, 16, and his 25-year-old cousin, Antonio Henry, are charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the killing of the Rev. David Strong.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey ruled Barnes "competent to stand trial" as an adult on Feb. 3. Since then he's been housed without bond at the Hamilton County Jail.

According to Chattanooga police Detective Michael Wenger's court testimony, Barnes has a different story than Henry, who told the Times Free Press in jailhouse interviews that he beat Strong with a stick and Barnes stabbed Strong after the pastor made unwanted sexual advances to Henry.

During Barnes' hearing, Wenger said Barnes told him the pair went to "rob and possibly kill" the pastor. There was no mention of sexuality or unwanted advances during the hearing.

Strong's killers beat him in the face and stabbed him 29 times, his autopsy report states.

Strong was the pastor at St. Paul AME Church in Chattanooga.