Utah man gets 25 years to life for punching baby to death

Reuters News
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Posted: May 13, 2015 6:20 PM

(Reuters) - A Utah man who pleaded guilty to aggravated murder for punching and squeezing to death the baby daughter of his girlfriend in an act of frustration was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Adam Joseph Barney, 24, received the sentence after pleading guilty to the crime in March with the understanding that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty, said Weber County Attorney Chris Allred.

Barney committed the killing in August 2014 at a long-term- stay hotel in Ogden, a community about 30 miles (48 km) north of Salt Lake City, where he was looking after 14-month-old Kenzie La Buy and her two young siblings.

He later confessed that he attacked the baby girl out of frustration, punching her in the stomach and squeezing her, said Weber County prosecutor Dean Saunders.

"The parents of this child will never have the ability to have her grow up and enjoy her as she grows up," Saunders said.

Barney, after attacking Kenzie, placed her in a stroller and went for a walk with the two other children and by the time he came back to the apartment she was unresponsive, Saunders said. He called the girl's mother, who was at work at a call center, and she told him to call 911 which he did.

Under the sentence that Utah state court Judge W. Brent West imposed on Barney, he faces the possibility of life in prison but becomes eligible for parole after 25 years behind bars.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Walsh)