From everything defense attorney Sam Silver heard, a state parole board representative was supposed to meet with William Barnes by Tuesday. Had that happened, Barnes could be one step closer to freedom after beating a murder rap in which the district attorney’s office tried to tie a 1966 bullet to a police officer’s 2007 death.
But the end of November came and went, and Barnes told Silver that the meeting never happened.
“It’s very clear that keeping Bill incarcerated goes against forward-thinking law enforcement and correctional philosophy,” he said. “Having been cleared by a jury, having done time … there are simply no conditions to keep him incarcerated.”
A parole-support brief Silver filed Nov. 12 stated Barnes’ earlier violations of parole conditions — possession of a cell phone and driver’s license — were necessary in case of serious health incident like a heart attack suffered in 2006 and that he’d been encouraged to obtain a driver’s license. Each violation brought three months.
Echoing previous statements, parole board spokesman Leo Dunn said yesterday, “He is scheduled to be reviewed sometime this month.” Generally, if parole is granted, it takes 6-8 weeks for release.
“It’s redundant to keep him in on violations that have been more than served,” Barnes’ brother Jimmy said. “We hope he’ll be home for summer.”
Calls to the District Attorney’s office were not returned.