Father accused of abandoning adopted girl arrested, bonds out

Michael Barnett, the father accused of leaving their adopted child alone in a Lafayette apartment, has bonded out of the Tippecanoe County jail, just an hour after he was booked.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 4:52 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2019 8:56 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Michael Barnett, the father accused of leaving their adopted child alone in a Lafayette apartment, has bonded out of the Tippecanoe County jail, just an hour after he turned himself in and was booked.

News 18 was there as he walked out around 4:45 p.m., just over an hour after online records say he was booked. He posted a $5,000 bond. His lawyer, Terrance Kinnard, spoke on his behalf outside the jail. You can see a piece of that interview above right now.

"Michael is a wonderful human being, he is a pillar in his community and he has a big heart," said Kinnard. "He thought he was doing the right thing 10 years ago when he took someone in his home. From his perspective, he was as much of a victim as anyone in this whole scenario."

As we previously reported, Michael Barnett admitted to legally changing the Ukrainian girl's presumed age from 8-years-old to 22-years-old prior. The girl has a form of dwarfism, according to documents. 

The girl told police she was adopted by the Barnetts in 2010. Court documents said the family lived in Hamilton County for two years. The girl told police the Barnetts rented an apartment on North 11th Street in Lafayette for her and then moved with the rest of the family to Canada.

Barnett and his ex-wife Kristine Barnett are facing a pair of felony charges for neglect of a dependent. Kristine Barnett is still at large and reportedly still lives in Canada.

We asked Kinnard how the parents were able to legally change the girl's age, but he said that it will be something that is talked about throughout the court process.

Kinnard said his client hopes for the best for the girl they allegedly left behind.

"This is someone he has always cared for and cared about," he said. "(Michael) is not abreast of her whereabouts, but he does have a concern to make sure she is okay."

Court documents say Michael admitted to only providing enough money for rent for the girl and no other living expenses. It also says that the Barnetts believed she was a minor at the time, despite her legal age. According to his lawyer, Michael Barnett doesn't believe he's guilty of neglect.

"Show to the world, to the court and to his community that he is, of course, innocent of these charges," he said of their goal throughout the process.

Kinnard confirmed that Michael and Kristine Barnett are not married anymore, and said he is not representing Kristine.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 83°
Rensselaer
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Fowler
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 80°
Williamsport
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 83°
Crawfordsville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 82°
Monticello
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 82°
Logansport
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52037

Reported Deaths: 2762
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12111693
Lake5677249
Elkhart366260
Allen2971134
St. Joseph221169
Hamilton1735101
Cass16489
Hendricks1470100
Johnson1351118
Porter84938
Vanderburgh8016
Tippecanoe7859
Clark71944
Madison68164
LaPorte62928
Howard61058
Bartholomew60545
Kosciusko5844
Marshall57011
Noble52428
Boone49244
LaGrange48710
Delaware48152
Jackson4793
Hancock47436
Shelby46025
Floyd41844
Monroe36128
Morgan34431
Grant32226
Dubois3196
Henry30318
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27810
Dearborn27123
Warrick26829
Vigo2618
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison21822
Greene19932
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1748
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1596
Daviess15117
Perry15110
Steuben1402
Orange13823
Jasper1362
Ripley1357
Franklin1288
Gibson1282
Wabash1193
Carroll1142
Starke1093
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells831
Randolph804
Fulton761
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Posey640
Rush623
Spencer591
Owen531
Benton510
Sullivan511
Adams491
Brown441
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Tipton331
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events