LAFAYETTE — Michael and Kristine Barnett, the Indianapolis man and woman caught up in a bizarre child abandonment case, will not go on trial anytime soon in Lafayette.
The Barnetts, who are not being tried together, each face eight felony neglect charges involving adopted daughter Natalia, who came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2010.
The trial of Michael Barnett, which was supposed to begin Monday, is now delayed until September 18, with a pre-trial hearing on August 28. Kristine Barnett's trial is set for January 25, 2021, with a hearing on a request to dismiss charges coming up on July 27.
In 2012, the Barnetts, who have other children and are now divorced, had Natalia's age changed in Marion County Probate Court from her real age of eight to 22 and told the girl to say she was 22 if anyone asked. A probable cause affidavit outlined various congenital health problems Natalia suffers from that make it appear she is much younger than she is.
In 2013, the Barnett family moved to Canada and abandoned Natalia in a Lafayette apartment for the next three years, placing her "in a situation that endangered the dependent's life or health." Fending for herself, Natalia did not receive badly needed medical care.
Michael Barnett, said Natalia was really an adult who had tried to hurt and kill him and his wife on multiple occasions.