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Motion to dismiss filed in case against parents accused of abandoning adopted child

Michael Barnett.JPG
Posted at 5:18 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 19:15:55-04

TIPPECANOE COUNTY — A man accused of adopting a child from the Ukraine and then abandoning her appeared in a Tippecanoe County court Tuesday.

Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband Michael Barnett are both facing neglect of a dependent charges. Michael's attorney filed a motion for the charges against them to be dismissed, saying they are victims of fraud.

They are accused of adopting a girl in 2010 and abandoning her in 2013 after legally changing her age from eight-years-old to 22-years-old

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An attorney for Michael filed a motion to have his address removed from public records, citing his safety.

"I'm very confident about our motions I'm even more confident of Michael's innocence," Terrance Kinnard, Michael's attorney said. "We were prepared to argue those today however they were not set for a hearing just status so set those for the 23rd of next week. I'm somewhat disappointed that Michael wasn't granted to exclude his home address from the public purview."

A judge said they want to see more evidence and testimony about why Michael's safety may be at risk.

Kristine is able to leave the state and return to her home in Florida, according to the judge. Her attorney declined to comment.

The next court hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 23.