News Release

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Trooper David Jones
Kentucky State Police
Post 6, Dry Ridge
(859) 428-1212
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State Police Charge Crittenden Man with Murder

Date of News Release: 02/11/2009

(Dry Ridge, KY) - On January 4th, 2009, Kentucky State Police Detectives from Post 6 in Dry Ridge, responded to St. Luke West Hospital in Florence, KY, to investigate the death of Kiara Smith, age 1, of Crittenden, KY. An image of Douglas Barnhill, click here to enlargeDouglas Barnhill, age 24, also of Crittenden, had reported to 911 that the child had fallen and struck her head at his residence. The child was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead by the Boone County Coroner. Mr. Barnhill had been dating the child's mother for approximately six months and was responsible for the care of the child at the time of the 911 call. The child's mother, a 17 year old juvenile, had left Kiara in the care of Mr. Barnhill while she attended a family funeral. It was during this period of time that spanned several hours, the child received injuries that were fatal.

It was determined through investigation that the injuries to the child were not consistent with the statements made by Mr. Barnhill. Medical evidence uncovered during the autopsy led State Police detectives to suspect criminal actions. The Medical Examiner determined that the child died as a result of multiple blows to the head. Evidence gathered was presented to a Grant County grand jury today, and Douglas Barnhill was indicted for Murder. He has been arrested and lodged in the Grant County Detention Facility under a $100,000 cash bond.

507.020 Murder.

(1) A person is guilty of murder when:
(a) With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person; except that in any prosecution a person shall not be guilty under this subsection if he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse, the reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the defendant's situation under the circumstances as the defendant believed them to be. However, nothing contained in this section shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for or preclude a conviction of manslaughter in the first degree or any other crime.

(2) Murder is a capital offense

The State Police do not anticipate any further charges in the case.

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