Family of slain pastor seeks closure - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family of slain pastor seeks closure

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Antonio Henry makes a guilty plea in front of Judge Don Poole Tuesday morning as the family of Reverend David Strong watched in the distance.

Police say Henry and Brendan Barnes beat Strong and stabbed him more than two dozens times.

The prosecution says the family can now have some closure.

Assistant District Attorney Neal Pinkston says, "I think so. They seemed pleased and came and I think they are glad to see this over with."

Defense attorney Dan Ripper says the agreement was reached late last week.

"I think it was fair. It was a fair resolution considering the facts of the case."

Ripper says the facts weren't able to come out since the plea was reached, but Henry alleged in interviews Strong made sexual advances at him.

Ripper says Henry did what was right for the family.

"Obviously he wasn't happy about what happened but it is kind of strange. In the legal process things like moral judgement and emotions need to be separated from your client and you want to make sure the right thing is done for the victims family."

Pinkston says, "Hopefully it will leave the strong family with good lasting impressions of their brother and son as opposed to what sometimes trials can show."

Henry was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Brendan Barnes is due in court April 23rd.

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