An area police officer charged in a man’s death appeared in a Benton courtroom Wednesday morning.
Public Defender Eric Dirnbeck told a judge that representing William McKinney, 59, is a conflict of interest for him. McKinney worked as a police officer in Buckner, and could be called as a witness in other cases Dirnbeck is assigned to.
The judge agreed, and McKinney will now be represented by Attorney David Garavalia.
McKinney is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 62-year-old Roy Barnhart last month.
Authorities say McKinney used excessive force in subduing Barnhart, after officers were called to break up a fight on Main Street in Buckner.