Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Article excerpt


Couple accused of abusing children granted delay

A Franklin Park couple accused of abusing their two adopted children asked for a postponement of their case Monday so they can find an expert witness.

The case is now slated for Jan. 13.

Douglas and Kristen Barbour are charged with endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and reckless endangerment. Kristen Barbour, 31, is also charged with aggravated assault.

The couple adopted two Ethiopian children, ages 18 months and 6 years, in March 2012.

They were charged seven months later, accused of starving the older boy and forcing him to stand in the dark or eat dinner in the bathroom for soiling himself.

They are accused of shaking the infant girl, causing head trauma.

On Monday, defense attorney Robert E. Stewart, who represents Kristen Barbour, told Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning that he had been having trouble retaining an expert for the case.

"We do not believe the head trauma to the infant is a result of what they're saying is shaken baby syndrome," the attorney said. "We believe it's something called rebleed."

Springdale Borough settlement detailed

Springdale Borough on Monday released a settlement agreement under which its insurer must pay $225,000 to a Tarentum man who said a former police officer assaulted him.

Gary Cahill, 36, sued in federal court claiming that Mark Thom, while conducting a traffic stop for the borough in 2011, handcuffed him and repeatedly shocked him with a Taser. Mr. Cahill and his attorney, Timothy O'Brien, argued that police officials were already on notice of other accusations of unnecessary use of force by Mr. Thom.

Mr. Thom, 32, of Springdale Borough, pleaded guilty in March to violating Mr. Cahill's civil rights and is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Oct. 22.

The borough did not admit wrongdoing in the agreement. The borough released the pact in response to a request from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette under the right-to-know law.

The borough in April released a separate settlement agreement obligating its insurer to pay $98,500 to settle an Allegheny County police officer's claim that Mr. Thom assaulted and falsely accused him in 2010.


Kayaker's body found in Youghiogheny River

The body of a man found Sunday in the Youghiogheny River has been identified as an avid kayaker reported missing two days earlier, authorities said.

The body of James G. Leffard, 58, of White Oak was found in the river in South Versailles, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner's office, which was called there shortly after 2 p.m.

North Huntingdon police were alerted about 8:30 p.m. Friday that a man might be missing along the river.

Mr. Leffard's vehicle was found along the river in Turner Valley. His kayak also was found, unoccupied, with his cell phone and ID near Coulter, police said. …

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