An upstate New York man is accused of killing a UPS driver he believed to be Donald Trump, and he says there’s no evidence that could be presented to him to make him believe he did not murder the president-elect.
Justin Barkley, 38, said during his arraignment Monday in Ithaca, New York, “I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly.”
The victim who was actually slain Dec. 8 in a Walmart parking lot was William Schumacher, a driver for the United Parcel Service.
Barkley told the court he knew where Trump would be the day of the shooting and he waited in the parking lot in Ithaca to murder him.
“I went there to purposely shoot and kill him and put him down,” Barkley said.
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The case has received some coverage in New York media as well as Britain’s Daily Mail, but has not received much national attention, which was noted by radio host Rush Limbaugh, who felt the case would be a lead story if someone shot a woman believing her to be the Democratic Party presidential nominee.
Limbaugh explained: “If this were Hillary Clinton, if there were some lunatic out there that had shot a woman and claimed that he was shooting Hillary Clinton, do you think the media all over America would be talking about it? And then condemning any and all supporters of Trump and Trump himself for the incendiary rhetoric that he’s engaged in and has inspired this violence. Because remember when [Rep.] Gabby Giffords got shot out there in Arizona, they tried to blame me and Sarah Palin. … Can you imagine the uproar? Can you imagine the wall-to-wall coverage?”
Limbaugh then wondered about the circumstances in the Barkley case in New York.
“Why did this guy want to kill Trump? Why did this guy think that he was killing Trump?” he asked. “What could have happened to make him so hateful toward Donald Trump? Might it be the Drive-By Media and the Democratic Party? Could they maybe be held somewhat accountable here for their never-ending, constant vilifying of Trump?”
According to the Ithaca Voice, Barkley told the court he understood the difference between mistaking a person for being Trump and asserting that he actually killed Trump. When asked if any evidence could be presented to him to suggest he killed a different person, he said, “I would hope not.”
Barkley attempted to plead guilty at his arraignment, but Judge John Rowley refused to accept it.
Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski has requested a mental examination of the defendant to see if he’s competent to stand trial.
Barkley is charged with felony counts of second-degree murder and menacing a police officer or peace officer, and he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison. His next scheduled court is appearance is at 2 p.m. on Jan. 6.
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