Barnett gets immunity to testify in ex-wife’s trial for abandoning daughter Natalia
Testimony from Michael Barnett, acquitted of similar neglect accusations and now without prospects of future charges, ‘might open up all sorts of things’ in Kristine Barnett’s high-profile trial
Prosecutors agreed Friday to give Michael Barnett immunity in exchange for his unfettered testimony in the neglect trial of his ex-wife, Kristine Barnett, this spring – a case that has drawn international attention, a gag order and a limited series in the works for Hulu.
A Tippecanoe County jury found Michael Barnett not guilty in October 2022 on four counts of neglect of a dependent after leaving the couple’s adopted daughter, a Ukrainian orphan named Natalia, in a Lafayette apartment and moving the rest of the family to Canada a decade earlier.
Kristine Barnett faces similar charges in her own trial, slated for April.
But during a pretrial conference Friday in Tippecanoe Superior Court 2, there were hints that the second trial dealing with how Natalia Barnett – who has diastrophic dysplasia, a condition that causes severe dwarfism – wound up alone in Lafayette won’t be a carbon copy of the first one.
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