Case delayed for Franklin Park couple accused of child abuse

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A Franklin Park couple accused of abusing their two adopted children asked for a postponement of their case this morning so they can find an expert witness.

The case is now slated for Jan. 13.

Douglas and Kristen Barbour are charged with endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. Kristen Barbour, 31, is also charged with aggravated assault.

The couple adopted two Ethiopian children, ages 18 months and 6 years, in March 2012.

They were charged seven months later, accused of starving the older boy and forcing him to stand in the dark or eat dinner in the bathroom for soiling himself.

They are accused of shaking the infant girl, causing head trauma.

This morning, defense attorney Robert E. Stewart, who represents Kristen Barbour, told Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning that he had been having trouble retaining an expert for the case.

"I guess I was a little naive thinking I could get a UPMC doctor to contradict another UPMC doctor," Mr. Stewart said.

"They never do that," Judge Manning replied.

Mr. Stewart is in contact with a neurologist in Chevy Chase, Md., he said, and hopes to obtain a report in the next several weeks.

"We do not believe the head trauma to the infant is a result of what they're saying is shaken baby syndrome," the attorney said. "We believe it's something called rebleed."

breaking - neigh_north


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