New Mexico State Police blood pattern analyst Sgt. Shayne Arthur told a Taos jury last week (May 9) that he knew the one-year-old had coughed blood after being stabbed a single time in the chest because the speckled pattern near the crib was consistent with someone “aspirating blood.”
The knife, wielded by the child’s father, 29-year-old Christopher Barney, pierced the soft tissues of Landon’s chest, broke his collar bone and two ribs, cut a major artery in his heart and severed his spinal cord, medical investigators found.
As unsettling as the child’s death is, what the lawyers in the case argued and what the jury clocked 16 hours debating was, did Christopher Barney intend to kill his son in May 2010 when he returned to his home on Straight Arrow Road after a fight with his girlfriend, or did a psychotic episode during the incident convey negligence?
In the end, the jury found Barney guilty of intentional child abuse resulting in death Monday (May 14). Eighth Judicial District Judge John Paternoster sentenced Barney Tuesday (May 15) to the mandatory statutory life sentence, which is 30 years in prison. The case will automatically be appealed.