Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dillon Bahorski

Casey Pence left her two sons at home with her boyfriend Javier Ruben Barker last Friday night so she could go to work. Three-year-old Dillon Bahorski (I’ve also seen it written as Dylan) is dead and her five-year-old son Jordan is scarred for life. At some point that evening the older child, Jordan, saw Barker go into his brother’s bedroom and heard the child screaming so he went to see what was going on. He allegedly saw Javier Barker stomping on his brother’s ankles and heard the man spanking his brother. Must have been a god-awful spanking for the child to have died… From KCTV in Kansas City:
Javier Ruben Barker hit and kicked his girlfriend’s son in a Pleasant Hill home, and he died as a result of his injuries, according to court documents.

Dillon Bahorski’s injuries included severe brain trauma, a skull fracture and contusions to his body, according to court documents.

He also suffered significant bruising and swelling of the exterior sides of both ankles, according to court documents.

Casey Pence arrived home from work the next morning and found her son dead, severely beaten. She immediately called police. Barker claims that he had sent Dillon to bed the night before, but that the three-year-old had been crying and took a long time going to sleep. He said that he fell asleep on the couch and didn’t know that Dillon was injured.
Dillon was kept on life-support until his organs could be donated but he died from severe brain trauma, a skull fracture and contusions to his body. Barker has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held on $250,000 bond. Dillon’s family is asking for help with the funeral expenses. Anyone interested in sending donations can do so at the Community Bank of Pleasant Hill, P.O. Box 30, Pleasant Hill, MO 64080

Updated 3/16/09 – At a court appearance Barker was attacked by relatives of Dillon Bahorski:
A man accused of beating a child to death was beaten himself in court.

Javier Barker, 29, made his first appearance in a Cass County courtroom Monday on a charge of second-degree murder.

Barker is accused of killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, Dillon Bahorski, in December at a house in Pleasant Hill.

Police said he beat Bahorski because he would not go to sleep and continued to cry.
During the court appearance, two of Dillon’s cousins attacked Barker and began punching him in front of the judge.

Relatives of the accused and the victim said the attack was not planned.

“They just sat there long enough and their emotions got the best of them, and I think they just kind of fell apart,” said Leigh Anne Kerschner, the victim’s grandmother. “This is really hard, that’s the first time we’ve seen him since Dillon was killed.”

Updated 8/19/09 – It’s been quite some time since I posted an update on this entry so I figured I would go ahead and post what I’ve found so far.

March 5th 2009 a motion was filed by Barker’s attorney to reduce bond. On the 16th a motion for discovery was made and Barker was arraigned. He entered a plea of Not Guilty. A case review was scheduled for April 20th and Martin Warhurst filed a motion to withdraw as attorney. J.R. Hobbs is now the defendant’s attorney. The court granted Warhurst’s motion on April 20th and the case was continued to May 18th. On the 18th it was rescheduled for August 17th.
On August 17th Hobbs filed another motion to reduce bond for Barker to $100,000 with 10% deposit. It was continued for the afternoon (this past Monday) at 1:30 p.m.
Updated 10/9/09 – Barker’s trial date has been set for March 10th. I will update this during and after his trial.

3-1-2010: Barker’s jury trial is set to begin tomorrow, March 2nd in Cass County. Hopefully this guy will get what he deserves.
While looking for information related to the trial I came across a Facebook group, “Javier Barker Has the Right to a Fair Trial“. In theory I agree, he does have the right to a fair trial, but the thing I kept thinking while reading some of the comments over there is I have yet to run across a group called “Dill Bahorski has the right to a long and fruitful life free from murdering bastards”.
I am obviously not in Missouri so depending on the coverage of the trial I will try and update this post.
3/2/2010 – I had completely forgotten when I published my update yesterday. There IS a Facebook group entitled Dillon WILL Get Justice. Check it out if you are interested.

3/9/2010 – It appears that the trial has been continued to May 18th. Don’t have any other details as of yet.

5/13/2010 – As Sandra mentioned in the comments below the trial has been rescheduled. I received a MOVANS alert via email earlier in the week mentioning it but not giving any details however it is rumored that the reason it was continued is that a medical examiner for the defense has backed out and that the trial has been rescheduled for October 19th-22nd. I will attempt to get it confirmed but that is likely to just remain scuttlebutt until we get closer to the trial.

12/15/2010 – The trial has been continued again. This time for April 2011.

2/24/2011 – The trial began on Tuesday of this week and is scheduled to run through Friday. Depending on my work schedule later this week I will try and have an update to the post on Friday or Saturday, although I am sure someone will be able to leave the results in the comments long before I can get this post updated.

One bit of evidence that was introduced over the last couple of days is that a whiskey bottle was found in the home with a shape consistent with wounds on Dillon’s body.

A story appeared yesterday at the Star Herald about the ongoing trial, you can read it here.

2/25/2011 – After two years of waiting for trial this was over pretty quickly. Javier Barker was found guilty yesterday and now all that remains is the sentencing. While there has been quite a bit of discussion on the case I have never really thought it would go any other way.

Thirty-one year old Javier Barker was sentenced on Monday to a total of 55 years in prison for the brutal 2008 stomping death of 3-year-old Dillon Bahorski in his Pleasant Hill home.

Cass County Presiding Circuit Judge Jacqueline Cook told Barker in a brief comment preceding sentencing that “no sentence I can impose can turn back the clock and restore Dillon to his family.”
Though she cited his previous lack of a criminal record, the nature of the crime demanded a sentence of 30 years for second-degree murder and 25 years for abuse of a child resulting in death, she said, with the sentences to run consecutively.

It was not the sentence requested by assistant prosecuting attorney Jamie Hunt, who asked for two consecutive life terms. “Though Mr. Barker would have the slight opportunity to walk free again under two life sentences, it is still more than Dillon or his family will have,” Hunt said.

Barker’s attorney, J.R. Hobbs, asked for concurrent 10-year sentences, citing his client’s previous lack of violent conduct.

The defendant cited his past history as well, in a soft voice marked with clipped speech. Dressed in a suit and tie, Barker sat between his attorneys listening to impact statements read by Bahorski’s mother, Casey Pence, and his grandmother, Leanne Kirchner, which described the horror of the morning after the incident and the months and years following.

For Barker, it was a day to ask for mercy. “I’ve spent my life living within the law – not for fear of punishment, but for respect,” he said. “This is a tragedy felt by both sides of the courtroom. I’m a far cry from a perfect person, but I’m no monster.”

For Pence, Barker’s history provided no solace. “On Dec. 27, 2008, my life as I knew ended, only to be replaced by a living nightmare from which I will never recover. The image of Dillon as I found him that morning, with his precious face, swollen beyond recognition, was seared into my brain and is one that has caused me nightmares ever since.”

She described the helplessness of not being able to accompany her son to the hospital, and of being taken to the Pleasant HIll Police Department for questioning instead.

“I asked everyone who talked to me if they heard any news about Dillon, and they continued to tell me they had not. I asked if Dillon was really bad, would we be notified, would the hospital call and update us as to his condition? I was told they would and the police had not gotten any updates yet. The entire time at the police station, I comforted myself with the idea that no news must be good news, and Dillon must be OK.

“He had to be OK. Just the night before, I kissed his little lips and told him I would see him in the morning.”

She said it wasn’t until hours later that she was told Dillon had a skull fracture and was on life support. “I could not comprehend what was happening. It did not seem real.”

She said she begged God to give Dillon back to her, in any condition. “My son, my baby, Dillon, was dead and taken from me in the worst possible of ways and I could not do anything to get him back,” Pence said. “Dillon did not just die, he was murdered in his own home by someone who he loved. I often times imagine how confused Dillon must have been when he was dealt the first blow. Was he wondering why Javier was hurting him? Did he talk? Did he ask him to stop? Did he call out for help? Did he scream out for me? Was he wishing I would come home and save him? Did he have time to think at all? Did he feel pain?”

In the days following the murder, Pence’s older son, Jordan, was placed in foster care while authorities continued to investigate. “Quite honestly, I was fighting an internal battle to find the will to live,” Pence said.

Pence’s mother suffers equally, she told the court. “This wasn’t a random act of violence and that is what makes it even harder to understand. Dillon loved Javier, and Javier beat him to death. I still do not know how this could have happened. Dillon was a great kid. He loved life, and you could tell just by the sparkle in his eyes.”

Kirchner said the reminders come daily. “I drive by my grandson at least twice a day. I can’t even go to the grocery store without going by Dillon. Pleasant Hill is a small town and the cemetery is on the only road in or out of town,” she said.

“I remember what it felt like when the grass started growing on his grave and it had looked like he had been there for a while. Heartbreaking. This shouldn’t have ever happened. God, I miss Dillon.”

Kirchner said she has drawn strength from her daughter. “(Casey) has shown me what strength really is. She is strong for me, when it should be the other way around. What choices she had were all taken away from her that day. I can truly tell you, unless you have felt this kind of loss, it is impossible to imagine the pain that comes along with it.”

Equally confused were Barker’s parents and ex-wife, Katie, who spoke on his behalf Monday.
The parents described a non-violent child who grew into a man that they still cannot imagine committing such a crime.

He was convicted in February by a Cass County jury after just more than two hours deliberation after a three-day trial.

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