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Case of father charged in baby's death delayed

June 29, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The case of a Zullinger, Pa., man charged in the death of his infant son last year was continued Tuesday in Franklin County Court with a tentative trial date set for December.

Shane Michael Barrett, 23, formerly of 5261 Buchanan Trail East, was charged by Washington Township Police in the death of his 3-month-old son, Kaden Michael Barrett, who was declared dead Nov. 18 at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center. Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner listed the cause of death as battered child syndrome.

Barrett attended a scheduling conference Tuesday before Judge Douglas Herman, who set a trial date of Dec. 12, according to Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom. Barrett, who was released on bail last December, is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

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"The delay is to have a forensic pathologist appointed for the defense to review the voluminous medical records and the pathology report," said Assistant Public Defender Jeremiah Zook, Barrett's co-counsel. Public Defender Michael Toms is the lead attorney for Barrett, he said.

Originally scheduled for the March trial term, Barrett's case was continued to May and then July, court records stated.

Police allege Barrett tossed the child face-down to the floor from knee level on the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 17, and that the child suffered other injuries in the days leading up to his death.

Barrett called 911 on Nov. 17, reporting that the child was unresponsive, police said.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Barrett told police that on Nov. 11, he had been carrying Kaden when he tripped on a shoestring and the child struck his head on the molding around a door. A Hershey physician, however, told police that the injuries Kaden Barrett suffered were not consistent with what Shane Barrett described.

During later questioning, police allege Barrett admitted to tossing the child to the floor on Nov. 17. Barrett told police he did not mean to harm his son and "it just happened out of the spite of the moment," according to the affidavit.

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