Crittenden man indicted for baby's murder

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

A Crittenden man was indicted Feb. 11 for the murder of a 13-month-old baby girl.

Douglas Barnhill, 24, is accused of hitting the child, Kiara Smith, in the head.

Detectives from Kentucky State Police Post 6 in Dry Ridge were called to St. Luke Hospital in Florence on Jan. 4 to investigate the baby’s death.

According to a press release issued by the KSP, Barnhill called 911 on Jan. 4 and reported that “the child had fallen and struck her head at his residence.”

The child was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was pronounced dead by the Boone County coroner.

Police said that Barnhill had been dating the child’s mother for about six months and was responsible for her care at the time of the 911 call.

The child’s mother, a 17-year-old juvenile of Walton, had left Kiara in Barnhill’s care while she attended a family funeral, police said.

“It was during this period of time that spanned several hours, the child received injuries that were fatal,” the press release stated.

Police determined through their investigation that the injuries to the child were not consistent with statements made by Barnhill.

The medical examiner determined the child died as a result of multiple blows to the head.

Barnhill was arrested on Feb. 11 and is being held in the Grant County Detention Center under a $100,000 cash bond.

Murder is a capital offense. Barnhill is scheduled to appear in Grant Circuit Court on March 11.

Funeral services for Kiara Smith were held on Jan. 9 at Linnemann Funeral Home in Burlington. Burial was in the Burlington Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the Kiara Smith Memorial Fund c/o any Bank of Kentucky branch.