Woman Gets Reduced Sentence In Boy's Neglect Death

Relates to:
Date: 2005-02-18

New Term Follows Decision By Appeals Court

INDIANAPOLIS -- A woman convicted of neglect in her 4-year-old adoptive son's dehydration death was resentenced Friday to 10 years in prison -- a three-year reduction that was prompted by an appellate court ruling.

Latricia Bars (pictured, left) received the new sentence from Judge Cale Bradford, who previously had sentenced her to 13 years. The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded the case back to him, saying he erred in considering aggravating circumstances to increase her sentence.

Bars will get credit for time already served, meaning she has about 8½ years left.

The child, Anthony Bars, died in January 2002 of dehydration. Authorities said the boy also was deprived of food and had suffered head injuries and a broken collarbone. He weighed 24 pounds at death.

Latricia Bars and her husband, L.B. Bars, were convicted of child neglect. L.B. Bars was sentenced in 2003 to eight years in prison. Anthony's twin sister and the couple's other children were placed in other homes.

Members of Latricia Bars' family who attended Friday's sentencing said they believe she is innocent and should be set free, RTV6's Eric Weisfeld reported.

"They're excellent parents," daughter-in-law Quintana Bars said. "They're loving and nurturing. They did the best that they could do."

A caseworker who helped place the twins with the Barses, Denise Moore, was convicted this year of obstruction of justice in the case. Prosecutors claimed Moore lied about doing a background check on the family. They alleged a check would have found three substantiated cases of abuse in the couple's home.

A jury acquitted Moore on two counts of neglect. She will be sentenced Feb. 23.

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