Union County couple accused in girl's death freed on bond
DANZA JOHNSON AND PATSY R. BRUMFIELD
NEW ALBANY - Ramon and Janet Killough Barreto apparently will be home for Christmas, out on $450,000 bond each and facing a March 2 trial in the death of their 2-year-old adopted daughter.
The Barretos were arrested in May after the child died at the hands of her 17-year-old sister, Marainna Torres, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in July.
A Union County grand jury indicted the Barretos on seven counts of child endangerment, felony child abuse and manslaughter by culpable negligence.
Through their attorney, Anthony Farese of Ashland, they pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Friday, the Barretos posted bonds through Acme Bail Bonds of Tupelo.
It's unclear whether their being out of jail has any bearing on whether they can resume custody of their six other adopted children, reportedly born in Guatemala.
Union County Sheriff Tommy Whilhite said he was surprised that the couple was able to post the $45,000 each it took to bond out.
Farese did not answer calls for more information.
While the adopted children are in foster care with the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Torres is in an undisclosed jail awaiting her sentence, which isn't likely until she completes her cooperation with prosecutors against her biological mother and stepfather.
The 2-year-old, Ena, died of severe head and lower body trauma, which family members originally said was caused after she fell from a shopping cart during a Memphis outing.
When police went to their home outside New Albany, they also found a squalid puppy mill operation housing dozens of dogs and other animals for sale. The animals that could be saved have since been adopted out.