1999 May 29 News Article – County won’t pay for DNA tests for accused child killer

WEBSITE AUTHOR COMMENTS: The McLean County Public Defender’s office representation of Barton McNeil, Assistant Manager of the local area Red Lobster at the time of his arrest, was terrible at best. A public defender was retained from the ranks of local area criminal defense attorneys hungry for work, with one selected who had previously only played a supporting role in the a murder trial, and had never before been assigned as lead counsel for a murder trial. A murder trial involving a child no less. Besides inadequate counsel, and believe me when I say there were lots of missed “Perry Mason moments”, and a lack of communication between Barton and his counsel, as after all Barton was in McLean County Jail and never could dictate when nor how often he could confer with his assigned counsel, there was a lack of a budget too. So while McLean County had an army of forensic scientists, some of whom were employed by the Illinois State Police, Barton and his counsel had no expert witnesses to call in their defense. As a result the prosecution lasted 3 1/2 days, with more than a dozen witnesses called. Meanwhile Bart’s defense lasted less than 1/2 a day. This is just an example of how Prosecutors win cases and poor indignant defendants lose. It is akin to playing poker against a person who has a stacked deck. One only needs to read the dates and the headlines to see the pending doom that lie ahead for poor Barton McNeil who loved and cherished his daughter. This is a fate no father should ever have to endure, let alone the insinuation that he sexually abused his child on top of everything else. Even the Count of Monte Cristo in the Iron Mask didn’t have it so bad.

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