Prosecutors: Show no leniency for mom who abused adopted children

2 mins read
By Adam Brandolph
Monday, Oct. 6, 2014

newsA woman convicted of abusing her two adopted children from Ethiopia should serve the six- to 12-month sentence a judge imposed on her, a deputy district attorney said in court documents filed Monday.

Common Pleas President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning on Sept. 15 sentenced Kristen Barbour, 32, to jail but allowed her to serve the time in an alternative housing program.

Her husband, Douglas Barbour, 35, a former state prosecutor, received five years of probation as part of a plea deal.

Kristen Barbour’s lawyer, Robert Stewart, asked that she receive credit for time served, a sentence of house arrest and early parole.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni said if the judge agrees, it “would not adequately address the severity of the crimes.”

Stewart could not immediately be reached for comment. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Barbour argues that her two biological children would have to be removed from her in-laws’ Mercer County home if the sentence remains in place; DiGiovanni argues that Barbour’s husband and in-laws can take care of them.

Authorities took the adopted children — a boy and girl — away from the Barbours when both arrived at Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville on Sept. 14, 2012, showing signs of abuse.

The boy had a skin infection from lying in his own urine and a temperature of 93.8 degrees. Doctors diagnosed the girl with a severe brain injury and found several healing fractures that they believe occurred while in the Barbours’ care.

The couple, then living in Franklin Park, adopted the children in March 2012, when the girl was 13 months old and the boy was 5. The Barbours regained custody of their two biological children, then 2 and 5, in May 2013. Authorities said they showed no signs of abuse.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer forTrib Total Media. He an be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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