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Judge denies change of venue in Strickland case

Posted: July 10, 2014 - 5:08pm

Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson has ruled that the trial for a man accused of first-degree battery and DWI in an incident that killed Conway Police Department Patrolman William McGary will be held in Conway.

Frank Shaw, defense attorney for the defendant, Barry Strickland, had moved for a change of venue because of pretrial media attention and public sentiment against Strickland because his actions resulted in the death of a police officer.

Battery, as applicable to this case, is defined as “unlawfully and feloniously … [causing] serious physical injury under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, said person being a law enforcement officer[.]”

Strickland’s Jeep struck and killed McGary on Jan. 31, 2013, while McGary was working a traffic accident on Dave Ward Drive. At the scene, according to a CPD incident report, Strickland “was showing signs of impairment” and a Drug Recognition Evaluation “indicated that he was impaired.”

His defense will likely involve a chemical test that showed no alcohol in his blood and the fact that Strickland, an Iraq war veteran, is prescribed legal medication to treat PTSD.

A jury trial is set for December 2, and is scheduled to go through December 5. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Troy Braswell will be the lead prosecutor in the trial. 

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