The autopsy results from the 7-month-old Richard Barbone, who died Monday in Pocatello. Public court records show his father, Lee Ross Barbone, admitted to hitting the child.
According to those public records, doctors said the baby had multiple skull fractures, the back of his head was caved in and he had severe bruises on his left ear.
The boy’s father, Lee Ross Barbone has been charged with first-degree murder in the case and was arraigned in court Tuesday. Barbone was granted a public defender and his bail was set at $1 million. Barbone said in court that he will try to get that bail lowered.
The public records give more details about what authorities say happened in the hours before the child’s death. The records said that Barbone tried to quiet his son down when he started crying at 1:30 a.m. Monday. Barbone changed his diaper and tried to get the baby to fall asleep with him on a couch. Barbone allegedly admitted to the reporting officer that when the boy would not quiet down, he struck the baby on the back of the head with his fist and then elbowed him in the head, according to the records.
When Barbone realized the child was unresponsive he took him to Portneuf Medical Center from the home he was staying at on La Montagna Strada, which is less than a mile away from the hospital. This happened around 7 a.m., according to the records.
Doctors worked to save the infant for 30 minutes before declaring him dead. They said the infant was most likely dead before he arrived at the hospital, according to the records.
Barbone had been living with his girlfriend and her two other children in Sunny Creek Courts on the south part of town, the manager of the trailer court said. Barbone had moved out after being charged with domestic battery, but that the family was back together again late last week, and neighbors saw Barbone and his girlfriend smiling together, the manager said. Barbone had visitation custody with the infant, according to court records.
Baby Richard was born prematurely, a next-door neighbor said, and he was just getting to a point where he seemed healthier and stronger, she said. The neighbor had planned to start baby sitting Richard on Tuesday but instead spent the day testifying to police, she said.
“I’m doing this for baby Richard,” she said.
Duke Reilly, his wife and their two children live down the street and said they were shocked something like this would come out of their neighborhood.
The manager of Sunny Creek said neighbors there are devastated, and Reilly said he feels safer knowing Barbone was arrested.
Prosecutors now have to prepare for Barbone’s preliminary hearing, and said they are just as concerned about this murder case as any of the recent murder cases.
“We’re obviously always concerned with these types of crimes, and this matter. We will proceed accordingly in this type of crime, as the others,” Prosecuting Attorney Cleve Colson said.
The charge of first-degree murder stems from the fact the victim is under the age of 12, not necessarily that this was a premeditated murder, prosecutors said.
Barbone’s preliminary hearing was set for May 25 at 9:30 a.m.