Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dad with shared custody charged in beating death of 5-year-old son; dad granted custodial rights despite history of DV and had shut off mother's access for months (Bellefontaine, Ohio)

Insane that any judge would have granted dad MICHAEL G. BARTON any custody/visitation rights after he had had a history of domestic violence with the mother. Fathers like this are at a very high risk for violence against that mother's children--partly because Daddy is just a violent person and partly to hurt/punish the mother. The risk REALLY escalates when the father has powerful control impulses and cuts off the mother's access to the child, as happened here. Why didn't the authorities intervene before this little boy's brutal murder? We need to see a judge's name, and the names of the people who allowed this to happen.

Barton has been added to the Killer Dads and Custody list for Ohio.

Father charged after 5-year-old son dies

By Dean Narciso The Columbus Dispatch • Thursday May 21, 2015 7:23 AM

An autopsy to be performed on Thursday may help Bellefontaine authorities determine how a 5-year-old boy died early Wednesday.

Just after noon on Monday, a woman called 911 seeking medical attention for her boyfriend’s son, Michael G. Barton.

“He’s 5 years old. He is not breathing and we’re not feeling a heartbeat,” Skybree Schindler said from her home in Bellefontaine.

Dispatchers instructed Schindler and the boy’s father, Anthony Barton, 24, also of Bellfontaine St., to perform CPR until medics arrived.

As Schindler talks to dispatchers, Barton can be heard in the background saying, “Come on buddy. We’ve done this before. Come on.”

The boy was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The Franklin County coroner’s findings are “likely going to yield more evidence and point us in the direction of how much trauma the child received before they called 911,” said Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley. “I think that the picture will become clearer to us.”

Authorities already know that the boy had welts on his body, said Bill Goslee, Logan County prosecutor.

Barton told police that “he was using a plastic wand common on blinds to open and close the slats" as a switch on the child, Goslee said.

“The child has numerous points on his body where corporal punishment exceeded the bounds of decency,” Goslee said.

That admission was sufficient to charge Barton with felony child endangering. He is in the Logan County jail and could face additional charges.

Barton, a mixed martial arts athlete, shared custody of Michael with Stephanie Hartline, 24.

In 2011 and 2012, he was charged with domestic violence for attacks on Hartline, who has not seen the boy for several months, Goslee said.

“I always told Stephanie to be careful. He was a ticking time bomb,” said Stephanie’s father, Brian Hartline, 48, of Russells Point in Logan County.

Hartline was told to prepare for a funeral when he arrived at Children’s Hospital. “He was black and blue from the middle of his back to the bottom of his feet,” said Hartline.

His neck was broken at the base of the skull.

“What I saw it would have taken a big person to do. It wasn’t just a spanking. It was a complete beating.” Mr. Hartline will remember his grandson, who often pretended to be a policeman, “The most loving, best boy you’d ever meet in your life. He didn’t deserve what he got.”