Monday, May 11, 2009

No Surprise, Stacey Barker – Surprise, Cesar Laurean

As expected, Stacey Barker briefly appeared in a Lancaster, California court today and pleaded not guilty to murder, assault on a child causing death and child abuse.

Barker has remained jailed since April 23 after being arrested for the death of 18-month-old Emma Barker.

First reporting to law enforcement that baby Emma had been kidnapped, Barker later told investigators Emma had died accidentally; she panicked and dumped the toddler’s body along side of a highway.

She is scheduled to be back in court on June 15, when a date will be scheduled for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence for her to stand trial.

Onslow County Superior Court Judge Charles Henry dissolved the gag order he issued in the Cesar Laurean case.

"This court, upon its own motion, has undertaken a review of the constitutionality and validity of the April 30, 2009, consent order entered regulating the relationship between the signatories of the order and the news media."

Henry said that after reviewing his original order, he felt it did not meet North Carolina constitutional standards.

Laurean’s attorney, Dick McNeil, said he was pleased Henry reconsidered his original order, adding, “The Sheriff's Department has not been shy about speaking about the case for the last 18 months, why stop now?"Ok, I admit, McNeil's statement kinda left me baffled!

Laurean is scheduled to appear in court May 18 when he is expected to plead not guilty in the death of Maria Lautenbach and her unborn child.