Barton defense calls first witness in 5-year-old stepdaughter murder trial

Local News

LEE COUNTY, Ala. — After five days of testimony, George Barton’s defense team calls its first witness.

Barton, 36, is accused of beating his five-year-old stepdaughter, Caley Presley to death back in June of 2015.

Early Thursday, the defense played interviews conducted by the Child Advocacy Center with Barton’s stepsons the day of and a week after the incident.

Both said in the tapes they heard Caley screaming and begging Barton to stop beating her with a belt, but added that he would not let up and was cursing at her. They both said Caley was in trouble the most, and George Barton would discipline her the most. In addition, both said Barton told his stepsons that Caley hit her head on a dresser. One said he could not believe it since he did not see her hit her head.

Once the tapes were finished, the defense called clinical psychologist, Dr. John Goff to the stand. Goff told the court he has visited with Barton twice, once in 2016 and another time in 2017. He performed a battery of tests on Barton, and noted his PTSD diagnosis, substance abuse issues and his Bipolar Disorder diagnosis.

“Would it be fair to say that a violent episode is certainly possible with someone with who has Bipolar Disorder?” Defense Attorney Andrew Stanley said  “Yeah, sure,” Dr. Goff said.  “Would you have an opinion that it could have been possible in this case on June 7, 2015?” Stanley said. “It’s possible,” Dr. Goff said.

The trial continues on Friday at 9 a.m.

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