Toddler broken bones, father convicted

Marquis D. Barnes

Leonardtown, MD -- A California, MD man has been sentenced for neglect of his daughter, who was two years old at the time of the incident. Marquis Barnes, 26, was sentenced Feb. 9 to two years in jail. The sentence was imposed by Judge Michael Stamm after a hearing.

Barnes entered an Alford plea in the case, which meant he didn’t admit guilt but conceded the state had enough evidence to prove its case. Barnes’ attorney, public defender Sean Moran, said his client didn’t know what happened and he was the one who took her to the hospital. “When he looks at the pictures (of his daughter’s injuries) his stomach turns, too,” Moran said.

But Judge Stamm, looking at the picture of the girl at the hospital, observed the extent of the injuries, including broken right and left collarbones, rib fractures and aggressive chest compression. Assistant State’s Attorney Julie White said the injuries indicated that the abuse had been going on for as long as a year.

Judge Stamm called Barnes’ contention of not knowing what happened “all smoke and mirrors.” The judge noted that Barnes’ criminal record showed a history of “assault behavior.” The judge said even if Barnes didn’t inflict the injuries himself, he was responsible for his daughter. “You had an obligation to that angel to make sure that angel was safe,” Stamm said.

Before the sentencing Moran said of his client, “He misses the child and the child misses him.” He said that all his client wanted was to be a good father and he would do whatever the court wanted, including anger management and parenting counseling.

Whatever counseling Barnes gets will have to be in the Maryland Department of Corrections. The judge imposed a five-year sentence but suspended all but two years. Barnes will be on five years of supervised probation when he is released. He will be under the supervision of a domestic violence agent in the Department of Parole and Probation. He also will be prohibited from having any contact with a child under 12 without the agent’s consent.

Contact Dick Myers at

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