ITHACA — Justin Barkley, accused of murdering a man in the Ithaca Wal-Mart parking lot in December, has been found competent enough to stand trial and pleaded not guilty at a new arraignment Friday.
Barkley, 38, has been charged with second-degree murder and menacing a police officer. He is accused of shooting and running over 52-year-old William Schumacher, a UPS driver from Candor. At his first arraignment in December, Barkley was in the process of pleading guilty until he told the court he was sure he shot and killed Donald Trump that night.
“I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly,” Barkley said at the arraignment.
Judge John Rowley, who is presiding over the case, did not accept his plea in December.
On Jan. 19, Barkley was deemed not competent to stand trial and Judge John Rowley — with evaluations from two psychiatrists — ordered that Barkley be admitted to a psychiatric facility to further evaluate his competency.
Barkley worked as a licensed master social worker from September 2008 until May 2016 at St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Massena, a town of just more than 10,000 people in St. Lawrence County, located almost four hours away from Ithaca. He was later briefly employed at The Office of Children and Family Services’ Finger Lakes Residential Center.
Related: What went wrong? Ithaca Wal-Mart shooter surrendered gun months before homicide; was in a psychiatric ward at CMC
Barkley briefly appeared in court Friday afternoon, where Rowley said there is no reason to believe Barkley is not competent enough to proceed. They had a brief arraignment.
Barkley was represented by a new attorney, Peter Dumas.
Rowley said a trial will likely not be scheduled until August or October. He also said it is unlikely Barkley will be released at all before trial.
Featured image by Jolene Almendarez/Ithaca Voice