Friday, May 29, 2015

Custodial dad charged with 1st-degre murder in death of 5-year-old son to appear in court (Bellefontaine, Ohio)

As often happens, a killer dad's custodial status is "forgotten" as time goes on. Earlier articles made it clear that dad ANTHONY BARTON, despite a history of domestic violence again the mother, was awarded joint custody. He then refused the mother access. Apparently those in authority did nothing to address the situation. And we still see that those who allowed this father to secure sole possession of the victim are not named or held responsible. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP.

See our previous post here.

Barton’s next appearance set for Friday

Created on Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Written by JOEL E. MAST

Anthony Barton, a 24-year-old Bellefontaine man accused of killing his five-year-old son, Michael, remains jailed as early legal processes continue.

Accused of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felonies of felonious assault and felony child endangering, the defendant is set to appear Friday before Bellefontaine Municipal Court Judge Ann Beck.

Judge Beck’s job is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to support the charges and to move the case on to the Logan County Common Pleas Court jurisdiction.

The defendant appeared Tuesday with his court-appointed attorney Marc Triplett, who declined Judge Beck’s invitation to comment on the suspect’s $1 million bond.

Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee attended the hearing in case Mr. Triplett decided to ask for a lower bond.

Friday’s hearing may give more insight into the severity of Michael’s injuries and a glimpse at what investigators believe happened May 18 at Skybree Schindler’s 1076 Heritage Court residence.

Mr. Goslee indicated after Tuesday’s appearance he would ask the Franklin County Coroner’s Office medical examiner who handled Michael’s autopsy to appear and provide testimony.

Michael was lifeless and limp around 12:15 p.m. May 18 when paramedics with the Bellefontaine Fire & EMS Department and officers of the Bellefontaine Police Department were called to Skybree Schindler’s 1076 Heritage Court residence.

He had sustained obvious signs of trauma and was transported by helicopter to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

By early May 20, he was dead. Preliminary autopsy results indicated Michael died from bilateral multiple blunt force trauma to his head, meaning he was hit on both sides of his head.

There is no indication a weapon was used, Mr. Goslee said, noting the suspect is a six-foot, four inch 240-pound mixed martial arts fighter who has done seven bouts.

Other obvious injuries from Michael’s lower back down exceeded the normal bounds of discipline, Mr. Goslee said, but did not contribute to Michael’s death.

Bellefontaine detectives continue to work on the circumstances of Michael’s death.

They have charged Ms. Schindler with felony obstructing official business as they believe she intentionally misled officers from the start.

She and the father were the only two in the residence.

The woman’s two daughters were at school and they have not provided any insight into Michael’s fatal injuries.

Mr. Goslee believes evidence supports the charges, noting there is nothing to indicate the father planned the child’s death nor intended to kill him.

“It doesn’t meet the standards for a charge of capital murder,” he said. “Prior calculation and design are not there.

“It is absolutely horrendous what happened to Michael and it may be worse than a capital murder case when you consider Michael’s truly tender age and the fact it was at the hands of his father, who was in a position of trust.”

If convicted of murder, the defendant would face 15 years to life in prison.

Mr. Goslee believes the case will be bound over to the common pleas court and he is preparing for grand jury in early June.

Autopsy work continues with the examiner focusing on trauma to Michael’s brain.

They are conducting tests that will take up to eight weeks to determine a history and extent of trauma while ruling out other possible causes for the boy’s death.

Michael was the son of Stephanie Hartline and her family is organizing a vigil from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Mary Rutan Park’s Kaleidoscope Playground.

Brian Hartline, Michael’s grandfather, said the event is intended to provide an opportunity to show support for both the Hartline and Barton families.

No funeral services have been set for Michael.