The trial of a Franklin Park couple charged with abusing and starving two children they adopted from Ethiopia more than a year ago has been postponed for a second time.
The case against Douglas Barbour and his wife, Kristen, was to have begun before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning on Monday morning.
However their attorney asked for a postponement because he was having trouble finding an expert witness, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The trial is now set for Jan. 13.
Douglas Barbour, a Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, has been suspended from his state job without pay since he and his wife were arrested Oct. 4, 2012.
According to the criminal complaint, the Barbours are accused of starving their adopted 6-year-old son and leaving him with lesions from being kept in urine-soaked clothing for long periods of time.
Their 18-month-old adopted daughter will likely remain permanently blind in one eye and paralyzed after suffering abusive head trauma, according to the criminal complaint.
A doctor determined she had suffered multiple hemorrhages, fractures and injuries to both eyes and had been a victim of physical abuse, including abusive head trauma, the complaint states.
Kristen Barbour's attorney, Robert E. Stewart, told Judge Manning that finding an expert witness hasn't been easy, the PG reported.
"I guess I was a little naive thinking I could get a UPMC doctor to contradict another UPMC doctor," Stewart told the judge.
"They never do that," Judge Manning replied.
The Barbours have maintained their innocence.
"We do not believe the head trauma to the infant is a result of what they're saying is shaken baby syndrome," Stewart told the PG. "We believe it's something called rebleed."
The couple also has two biological children. They are not accused of abusing them.