A 25-year-old Dove Creek father was sentenced to eight years in prison on child-abuse charges last week.
Appearing via telephone at a sentencing hearing on Thursday, July 23, Durango attorney Angie Buchanan, who represented the victim in dependency and neglect proceedings, testified that the child, who was only 10 weeks old when wounded last summer, violently suffered multiple fractures, including two skull injuries, and internal organ lacerations that were consistent with being punched in the stomach.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” Buchanan said of the child.
District Attorney Will Furse said the defendant, Cody Barr, had continuously refused to accept any responsibility for his “negligent” actions. The child’s injuries reportedly occurred inside a Cortez motel room over a two-month span.
“The crime requires moral consequence and moral punishment,” said Furse.
Personally saddened, public defender Amy R. Smith became emotional at last week’s hearing while pleading on her client’s behalf. She said Barr was “set up to fail” since his own birth to a drug-addicted mother, adding he was placed in foster care after suffering child abuse.
“Society failed him as a child,” Smith argued. “No one can be surprised that he’s here today.”
Barr didn’t comment, but he did instruct Smith to apologize to the community for his actions.
Pleading the court for leniency, Barr’s mother apologized for “messing him up” as a child, stating his actions were a ripple effect of hers from decades ago.
District Court Judge Todd Plewe acknowledged that Barr had a troubled life, but added that he must seek justice for a defenseless child that suffered “horrific injuries.” Plewe also told Barr that his explanations for the crime were both “senseless and preposterous.”
“My conclusion is that you’re a liar,” said Plewe, ordering Barr to serve eight years in prison with credit for time served. “You nearly beat your child to death.”
Barr has maintained that he accidently dropped the baby, but court records reveal the “non-accidental trauma” injuries weren’t the result of a single incident.
In May, Barr pleaded guilty to child abuse causing serious bodily injury with criminal negligence. Charged as a habitual offender, he initially faced three counts of child abuse.