Local News

Wilson Mother Indicted In Attempted Murder Now Accused In Infant's Death

Posted May 3, 2006

— A Wilson County infant is dead, and authorities have accused his mother of severe abuse. Court records show the same woman is still waiting to go to trial on charges she tried to kill her other child.

Authorities say they plan to arrest 25-year-old Hadiah Barnes for murder, after her 1-month-old son died from serious injuries.

"The injuries were not from any type of resuscitative effort, more from a prolonged cycle of abuse," said Wilson County Capt. Billy Radford.

That conclusion came from a preliminary autopsy. Investigators have not arrested or even interviewed Barnes yet, because she is being treated in a local hospital. She was admitted last month, the same week as her infant son who then died.

When asked how long she could stay in the hospital with pending homicide warrants out against her, Radford said, "That's the doctors' discretion. It's their call, not ours."

Barnes is already scheduled to appear in court this summer to face attempted murder charges involving her other child. A grand jury indicted Barnes, saying she tried to kill her other son, who was also 1 month old at the time, when she allegedly put a rag in his mouth to stop him from crying in 2004. She later was released on bond.

WRAL went to the Department of Social Services to ask why a mother charged with abuse and attempted murder would still have custody of either child. The director would not talk about Barnes' case because of privacy laws, but off-camera said charges of severe abuse are not necessarily grounds for removing children from a home, unless a child dies.

There is no word on who is caring for Barnes other son now.

"I know that the child is in appropriate care, that is not in Ms. Barnes' care," said Radford.

Detectives say they will continue to monitor Barnes' status, and plan to make an arrest as soon as she is released. Investigators say they will look further into previous charges and custody issues as soon an arrest is made in the infant's murder. Barnes' attempted murder trial is set for July.


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