Evergreen parents accused of starving 6-year-old girl plead guilty to child abuse

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- The Evergreen couple accused of starving their adopted daughter pleaded guilty and now face 10 to 24 years in prison.

Jason and Katie Barton were charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm.

The 6-year-old girl weighed just 25 pounds when the Bartons brought her to Children's Hospital Colorado in 2015.

Doctors said the girl resembled a concentration camp survivor and that she was so malnourished the temples on the side of her brain were caving inward.

A detective testified the couple not only admitted withholding food from their oldest child, but might have done it because they didn't want the adopted girl to turn out like her birth mother, who was supposedly 6-foot and weighed 400 pounds.

The parents admitted putting padlocks on the refrigerator, the freezer and the pantry to make sure the the girl didn't sneak food.

Even after the couple brought her to the hospital, medical staff said the mother taunted the girl, drinking her favorite chocolate milk in front of her and saying there was none left.

According to the arrest affidavit, Jason Barton admitted to detectives that he and his wife were “jackasses” for denying their daughter food.

On a Facebook post from 2013, a friend of Katie’s commented about the girl, “She is so tiny.  Feed her a cheeseburger. Lol.”


The Bartons have two adopted children and two biological children. All four were placed in state custody in 2015.

The couple's Evergreen address had to be redacted from the arrest affidavit for their own protection because people were making threats against them, law enforcement sources said.

The Bartons will be sentenced in December.

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