Barahona trial date set - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

Barahona trial date set


WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A judge granted a request to transfer Jorge Barahona to jail in Miami-Dade County Monday morning where he and his wife, Carmen, are facing murder charges in the brutal beating death of their adoptive daughter, Nubia.

Jorge Barahona, 54, was arrested last month after investigators found him laying on the ground near his pesticide truck along Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, with Nubia's dead body in a plastic bag in the truck's bed and her 10-year-old twin brother, Victor, seizing from toxic chemicals in the front passenger seat.

Barahona, initially, was only charged with attempted murder in Palm Beach County for the injuries to Victor, but Miami-Dade investigators earlier this month charged both he and Carmen Barahona, 60, with murder. They say the two beat Nubia to death after a long history of abuse where they often bound the twins hand and foot, and forced them to sit in a bathtub for days on end.

Victor Barahona survived his injuries from the chemical burns that were also found on Nubia's body. He is in foster care, as are the two other adopted children who were living in the Barahonas' West Miami-Dade home when Nubia was killed.

Judge Karen Miller Monday morning approved Barahona's transfer to Miami-Dade, but deputies did not say when the transfer would happen.

Miller also set Barahona's attempted murder case for trial on January 30.

The Barahona case has touched off a storm of controversy within the state's Department of Children and Families, which received two calls to the state abuse hotline about the twins in the week Nubia was killed. The first call was from a counselor for the Barahonas' 6-year-old granddaughter, who reported she saw the twins abused. Later, a relative of the Barahonas called and said he feared something bad had happened to Nubia, and the Barahonas would not say where she was.

DCF reports since 2007 showed teachers and school administrators several times had shown concern that Nubia was coming to school dirty, hungry and unkept, but DCF investigators' reports during that time showed no signs of abuse.

Angela Fleary, the investigator assigned to investigate the Barahonas after the recent hotline calls, was fired, as was her supervisor Kevin Ramos. An independent panel assigned to review the case criticized Fleary for filling out paperwork indicating that the twins were safe when she hadn't seen them. She is now appealing her termination.

The three-member review panel also sharply rebuked DCF as a whole for the agency's handling of the Barahona case, calling for dozens of reforms to the system and saying the agency's response to the warnings about Nubia was a "failure of common sense and listening."

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