Correction: Earlier reporting indicating that District Attorney Matt Van Houten was not available for comment were incorrect. He’d been in touch with a different reporter. 

ITHACA, N.Y. — Justin Barkley pleaded guilty to felonies for first-degree manslaughter and menacing a police/peace officer Thursday afternoon, for the shooting death of Candor man William Schumacher more than a year ago.

Barkley, 39, will receive a recommended sentence of 25 years determinate in prison for the homicide with five years of post-release supervision. For the menacing, he will serve eight years determinate in prison with three years of post-release supervision.

Barkley shot and ran over Schumacher on Dec. 8, 2016 in the parking lot of the Ithaca Wal-Mart. He fled from the scene and later shot at two officers who arrived at his home. An eight-hour standoff ensued and he was eventually taken into custody.

He previously told the court, “I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly.” But his attorney Peter Dumas later said those statements were made under ‘mental disease and defect.’

Opening statements were expected to begin for Barkley’s trial Thursday morning, but it was delayed due to “evidentiary issues,” Judge John Rowley said.

It’s unclear what those issues were.

Barkley’s manslaughter plea carries the same sentence as a second-degree murder conviction may have produced.

This is a developing story. 

ITHACA, N.Y. — Justin Barkley, who fatally shot and ran over a Candor man more than a year ago in an Ithaca Wal-Mart parking lot, pleaded guilty to manslaughter late Thursday afternoon.

Barkley was originally charged with felony second-degree murder for killing William Schumacher on Dec. 8, 2016. He was then involved in an eight-hour standoff with police officials before being taken into custody. During his arraignment at county court eight days later, he said, “I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly.”

His attorney Peter Dumas said in subsequent hearing that Barkley’s comments were made under ‘mental disease and defect.’

Man accused of Ithaca homicide: ‘I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly’

After initially being found not competent to stand trial last January, a trial date for Barkley was eventually set and a jury was selected late Thursday morning. But opening statements were delayed due to “evidentiary issues,” Judge John Rowley said.

The trial was set to resume either Tuesday afternoon or next Thursday morning. After jurors were dismissed for the day, District Attorney Matt Van Houten said he would not comment on the evidentiary issues.

Related: Trial for accused Wal-Mart shooter postponed due to ‘evidentiary issues’

Some time after 3 p.m., however, attorneys appeared in court and Barkley eventually accepted the plea, a source familiar with the incident confirmed.

Dumas and Van Houten could not be reached for comment by press time and other details of the plea are currently unknown.

This is a developing story. 

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.