Trials separated for cousins accused of killing Chattanooga pastor

Trials separated for cousins accused of killing Chattanooga pastor

June 18th, 2012 by Todd South in Local - Breaking News

Defendants Antonio Henry, left, and Brendan Barnes are led into Judge Don Poole's courtroom in December 2011 where a trial date was set in the slaying of pastor David Strong.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

The trials for two cousins charged in the beating and stabbing death of a local pastor will be held separately, the first on Nov. 13.

Prosecutor Neal Pinkston agreed with defense attorneys for Antonio Henry, 27, and Brendan Barnes, 18, that the trials should be separate.

Henry's attorney, Dan Ripper, first requested different trials last year leading up to a scheduled trial for the pair in May. That trial date was canceled and on Monday morning Criminal Court Judge Don Poole accepted both sides' motions to separate the co-defendants and set Henry's trial first.

Barnes' trial date will be decided either at a Sept. 10 hearing ahead of Henry's trial or after his trial concludes.

In previous hearings it was revealed that Barnes and Henry both admitted to police that they struck pastor David Strong but each blamed the other for the fatal stab wounds. Each told police they beat Strong, 55, on Oct. 5, 2010 at his 404 Glenwood Drive home. Police found the pastor's body days later.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.