CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming prosecutors are considering bringing the death penalty to the table in the case against a man accused of sexually abusing and killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

John Barrett pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of child abuse and first-degree murder in commission of a felony. A judge in Cheyenne gave prosecutors with the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office until the end of this month to decide if they intend to seek the death penalty.

Barrett was charged in the killing of a 2-year-old boy in May. Authorities say his girlfriend left the child in Barrett’s care while she was at work.

Autopsy findings indicated the death was a homicide, and the medical examiner found that the child had bruising on his body and injuries to several internal organs.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.