MIAMI (AP) – Charged with beating their adoptive daughter to death, Jorge and Carmen Barahona have skipped most of their court hearings due to intense media coverage.
But that’s about to change.
At a hearing Thursday, which they did not attend, Judge William Thomas said he would no longer allow them to skip every hearing. Thomas noted the state is seeking the death penalty against the Barahonas and he wants them present for substantive hearings.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Nubia and her twin bother Victor were adopted by the Barahonas in 2009 after living in their home since 2004. The kids, authorities discovered, had endured starvation, beatings, medical neglect and they had been tied and forced to stay in a bathtub.
On Valentine’s Day 2010 police found the decomposing body of ten-year-old Nubia in the back of her adoptive father’s truck parked on the side of I-95 in West Palm Beach. In the front seat, they found Victor suffering seizures from chemical burns.
Jorge Barahona is being held in West Palm Beach. The judge proposed possibly allowing Jorge to participate via phone.
A trial date has not been set.
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