LEE COUNTY, Ala. –
George Barton is accused of beating his 5-year-old stepdaughter to death, Caley Presley. Wednesday morning, Barton appeared in a Lee County Court where he was charged with capital murder for the allegations.
At the hearing, Auburn Detective, Michael Creighton took the stand, where he enumerated to the court the long-list of injuries Caley sustained.
“Multiple liver lacerations, her pancreas was lacerated, she had a lacerated mesentery, which I believe holds all the organs together,” said Creighton.
A judge at Lee County Judicial Center found probable cause to charge George Barton with capital murder Wednesday morning.
The state is still investigating the case and gathering Caley’s medical records.
If convicted, Barton could face death, but the state has not decided if they will be seeking the death penalty in this case.
“Well a capital charge faces only two punishments if convicted, life without parole, or the death penalty, and at this point we are still collecting evidence to see if the death penalty will be sought,” Robbie Treese, District Attorney for Lee County.
Caley Presley died Sunday, June 7, after sustaining head and body injuries due to abuse. In his first hearing, Barton faced charges of domestic violence and child abuse, in allegations that he was involved in inflicting Presley with serious head and body injuries.
Wednesday June 10, Barton was recharged with capital murder. His original charges of domestic violence and child abuse were dropped. Presley was found to have sustained a broken clavicle, lacerated liver, lacerated pancreas and bleeding on her brain. Investigators are also looking into if Presley’s abuse was sexual in nature.
The main investigator says that Barton told him that he hit Caley with a belt around two or three times, but no more than ten times.
Cyndi Barton tells News 3 that she would never have knowingly allowed her daughter to be in such a dangerous environment.
“I didn’t have the happiest childhood, but if I had just thought or had the suspicious there is no way. I would have stayed or kept her in this,” said Barton.
This is an ongoing investigation, and more people are expected to be interviewed.