The Justice Files: A betrayal of trust

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – It was a betrayal of trust and it nearly cost a young child’s life.

It was 2005 and JenaV Adams entrusted her son with Mike Barber her boyfriend.  Adams left for work and at some point in the day, Barber viciously attacked Dominick.  He was only two-years-old.

According to charges, Dominick suffered multiple broken bones, a fractured skull, facial injuries that blinded him in one eye.

“He was in the hospital numerous times,” said Adams in a 2007 interview with ABC4. 

Dominick was in a coma when he entered the hospital.  Over the next six months, he had 8 surgeries according to his mother.

“They didn’t expect him to live and her he is running, walking talking,” she said.  “Everything they said he wouldn’t do, he’s doing.”

In 2006, a jury found Barber guilty of multiple counts of child abuse and received a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

A year later, Barber appeared for his initial parole hearing with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. Dominick was aware of this.

“Every time things like this come up it just makes it feel like it just happened again,” said Adams.  

Back in 2007, Adams said Barber never did take responsibility.  In fact, after Dominick was hurt, Barber fled.  He convinced police to let him go to the hospital to see Dominick but Barber took off.  He was later captured.

But at his 2007 parole hearing, Barber appeared remorseful.

“Every day I have to live with myself with what I caused,” he said in 2007.  “Drugs played a major part of my life.  I am not blaming it on drugs. I’m just saying I was using.”

But the Utah Board of Pardons denied Barber parole.  He reappeared in 2014 for a rehearing and again was denied parole.

Adams has been to every court and parole hearing.  She vowed from the outset that Barber would remain in prison for 15 years.

“He’s ruined a life, not only of my son’s but everyone who is involved with him,” she said.

“I want him to serve the 15 years maximum and it’s still not enough.”

Barber ended up serving all 15 years behind bars.  Earlier this month he was released from prison.  His sentence was completed.

“I don’t think justice was served because my son is blind in his right eye,” Barber told ABC4 recently. “He has a traumatic brain injury.”

And his mom said those injuries will be with Dominick for the rest of his life.

Even though Barber will not be on parole after serving his entire sentence, he will wear a scarlet letter.

He’s on Utah’s Child Abuse Registry.  Adams wants the public to be aware of the registry and what it offers.

“It’s to raise awareness so that people can make educated decisions about who they may choose as a companion or a babysitter,” Adams said.

Wednesday in part two of the Justice Files, life with Dominick who is now 18 years old.

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