Prosecution rests in trial for Auburn man accused in 5-year-old stepdaughter’s death

LEE COUNTY, Ala. — Just before 3 p.m. (CT) the state in the case against George Barton, the 36-year-old man accused of beating his five-year-old stepdaughter, Caley Presley.

Two individuals were on the stand Wednesday. Auburn Police Division Detective Sgt. Michael Creighton continued his time on the stand from Tuesday. The court continued to listen to the interview between Barton and Auburn Police conducted after the June 2015 incident.

In the 3.5 hour long interview, detectives question Barton about what happened on June 7 and days prior.

Barton said that on June 6, Caley was punished three different times. Punishment included standing in the corner and receiving licks from a belt. Barton said that he hit her no more than 10 times. Barton said on that day, Caley ran away from a spanking and slipped on the linoleum floor and fell on her side.

The next morning, Caley was placed back in the corner as a continuation from the day before. Barton said he gave Caley breakfast while she was in the corner. Later in the morning, Barton said that Caley got out of the corner and he punished her again.

According to audiotapes, Barton said he hit Caley twice with the belt, but she ran away saying she did not want anymore before he could finish. He then placed her over his knee so he could give her the remaining licks. Just before noon, Barton said that he was sitting on the couch rolling a joint to smoke because he said it helped with his PTSD. Before he was able to smoke it, his 2-year-old daughter came and got him to bring him to Caley after Barton said he heard a thud in the house, which Barton believed was Caley hitting her head on a dresser.

He then found Caley motionless on the floor of his bedroom. When he picked her up, Barton said she was flimsy and had blood around her mouth.

Soon after, he called Caley’s mother and 911. He added that he did CPR on Caley until first responders arrived.

“My daughter only received 10 licks from me today on her buttock, on her back and on her hands,” Barton said in the interview. “I did not abuse my daughter. I did not hurt my daughter. I didn’t do anything a good parent would not do to their child. That’s all there is to it. Sergeant Creighton then said, “George, a good parent doesn’t put their child in intensive care at the best hospital in the world.”

Throughout the tape, investigators try to determine what happened, but Barton denies trying to hurt Caley. He claims he was just trying to discipline her.

The last witness the state called was Dr. Melissa Peters who saw Caley when she arrived to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

Doctor Peters said Caley was not moving, had bruises all over her body with some bruises being in large patches, bleeding on the outside of the brain and inside of skull, a lacerated pancreas and liver and much more. She told the court that Caley was considered brain dead.

The defense is expected to call their witnesses on Thursday morning.

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