Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stacey Barker Dilemma...Will There Be A Plea Deal In March Or A Trial In April? UPDATED

UPDATE 3/22/2010 - There was no plea entered today and the case was continued until 4/12/2010. The Judge said the trial will be soon unless they reach a deal in the meantime this is going to trial, most likely in April.
Stay tuned

Emma Leigh Barker
There was another pre-trial hearing in the Stacey Barker murder case, on Monday, March 8, 2010, at the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse in Lancaster, CA. Stacey Barker 25, is accused of smothering her daughter, 18 month old Emma Leigh Barker on March 18, 2009.

Stacey Barker initially told police Emma was abducted from her car in the parking lot of a Lancaster, CA park as they prepared to leave after playing at the park. She claimed she was knocked out by the kidnapper and woke up six hours later, several miles away, at the Palmdale Park-n-Ride. Detectives said Barker had injuries consistent with a struggle, including bruises on her head and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities say Barker later admitted making up the abduction story and inflicting the wounds on herself. Twelve hours later, Barker led police to Emma’s body, dumped in a grassy lot near the Golden State Freeway in Sylmar, CA. Barker gave various statements to police as to how Emma died, ranging from an accident to an intentional suffocation. The one consistency to Barker's story was that she feared being blamed, causing her to panic and leave the girl's body near the freeway.

On April 27,2009, Barker was arrested and the charges filed against the young mother include murder, assault on a child causing death and child abuse. The complaint alleges that Barker willfully caused and permitted the child to be injured and harmed and that injury resulted in death. Barker formally entered a not guilty plea to all counts on August 12, 2009.

Friends of katfish ponders, who live in the AV, have been attending the hearings and any "in the courtroom" reports are based on information they have here we go..... Due to budget constraints the court had closed on Friday, so when they arrived at the courthouse early Monday morning there was a half hour wait in line, just to get into the courthouse.

Tori said that even though they made it to the courtroom about a quarter past eight (court doesn't usually start until nine) Stacey Barker's hearing was already under way. Tori couldn't get into the courtroom, but was able to watch from the ante chamber. Ange and TGT were able to get in, but the courtroom was standing room only. It seems court had already been on and off the record in Barker's hearing. When they arrived, Stacey was already sitting at the defense table and Judge Hayden Zackey was just taking his seat at the bench as he said ,"We will go back on the record". Zackey said that he consulted with the head Judge and he wants to try to keep the trial in his courtroom, but due to the cutbacks he does not know if that is going to happen, but emphasized again he would try. Zackey did say he would like the trial to begin by April 5, 2010. (Unfortunately we couldn't find out what happened before the girls got there, but it couldn't be much as the courthouse opens at eight.)

Public Defender Roberto Dager tells the court he wants to trail the hearing again until 3/22, adding that's 14 of 30. Judge Zackey said, "What is it you want to come back for on that date? I don't want to keep bringing Ms. Barker back and forth if I don't have to. " (Barker is housed at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, it's a 90 mile drive from the jail to the court one way. Given the budget constraints it's a good idea to limit those trips.)
PD Dager and Deputy District Attorney S. Kelly Cromer huddled together talking and then Dager said "We are going to put an offer on the table." Zackey said, "Okay, we will come back on the 22nd, that will give the lead Deputy time to review it. If we go to trial, we can still start by April 5, that will give Ms. Cromer time to do her other case." Kelly Cromer said she expected that case to be resolved quickly. Dager asked his client's file not be sent down yet, adding he wanted her to stay there so they could talk. And that was it for now. This case appears to be advancing one way or the other.

For those of you from California, I came across this that might be of interest:

Due to the ongoing statewide financial crisis, and pursuant to state law enacted in 2009, Superior Courts throughout California will be closed Wednesday, March 17, 2010, and closed the third Wednesday of every month through June 16, 2010.

(For more information follow the important court closure link above the picture.)
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