Rushville Republican

March 5, 2013

Man pleads guilty in shaken baby case

Kevin L. Green
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — A Rushville man has been sentenced to eight years in an Indiana Department of Correction facility as part of a plea agreement following an investigation into injuries suffered by his infant daughter.

Rush County Prosecutor Phil Caviness reports that Joshua W. Barber of Rushville was sentenced last week in the Rush Circuit Court after admitting to shaking his then 4-week-old daughter.

Barber pled guilty to the charge of Battery as a Class B Felony.

Under a plea agreement signed by the defendant, his attorney, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Phillip Morgan, Barber will serve eight years in an IDOC facility followed by four years of probation.

Judge David Northam accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Barber under the terms of the plea agreement.

According to Caviness, the case stems from an incident that took place in July, 2012, when the infant began suffering from seizures and vomiting.

After a relative took the baby to Rush Memorial Hospital, she was immediately transferred to Riley Hospital for Children and placed in the intensive care unit.

Dr. Roberta Hibbard, a renowned expert and child abuse pediatrician, examined the child along with a team of physicians and concluded that the seizures were caused by bleeding in multiple parts of the brain. The child also suffered from extensive bleeding in the retinas of both eyes.

During the investigation, Barber admitted to Detective Randy Meek of the Rushville Police Department that he had shaken the baby.

Caviness noted that the parties took Dr. Hibbard’s deposition last week in preparation for the March 12 trial date.

“Dr. Hibbard testified that based on the types and extent of the child’s injuries they could not be caused by an accident, birth trauma, or a simple fall. These injuries required rapid acceleration and then deceleration of the baby’s head, usually only caused in automobile collisions, shaking a child violently back and forth, or throwing a baby with significant force,” Caviness explained. “After that deposition, there wasn’t any doubt that the defendant caused the injuries.”

Caviness said that at this time the child is doing well.

“According to Dr. Hibbard, we won’t know the full effects on the child until she reaches the ages when certain developmental milestones should be met, such as walking, talking, and even up into different stages of school and educational development. Obviously, we are all hoping for a complete recovery,” Caviness said.

The child’s mother, Julie Clines, also was charged in this case with Neglect of a Dependant, and her case remains set for trial April 9, 2013.

Contact: Kevin Green @ 765.932.2222 x108