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Ogden man to face trial in death of girlfriend's toddler

Ogden man to face trial in death of girlfriend's toddler

(Weber County Sheriff's Office/File)

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) — An Ogden police detective testified Friday that a 23-year-old man accused of aggravated murder in the death of his girlfriend's 14-month-old daughter admitted punching the girl in the head and stomach to make her stop crying.

Detective Darren Goff slammed his fist loudly in the witness box to illustrate the force he said Adam Joseph Barney told him he used punching toddler Kenzie Rose La Buy last August, the Standard-Examiner reported.

Barney told police he also squeezed the girl in an Ogden motel room where he was watching her and her two brothers, ages 3 and 5, while their mother was at work.

Deputy Weber County Attorney Dean Sanders said the girl was dead some time before Barney called 911. An autopsy concluded she died of blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

Second District Court Judge W. Brent West ruled there was sufficient evidence for Barney to stand trial in state court, and he set Barney's next court appearance for Feb. 18.

Barney pleaded not guilty.

Barney was questioned for more than nine hours, and he told officers he hit the girl "with everything I had," Goff said.

Barney told detectives he killed the girl, but not on purpose, Saunders said.

The girl's father, James La Buy, left the courtroom for a few minutes after the prosecutor made opening remarks.

La Buy later told reporters he hopes Barney spends a long time behind bars. "I think (the death penalty) is an easy way out, to tell you the truth," he said.

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