Jury finds Iowa Co. mother, daughter not guilty in teen’s 2018 death

DODGEVILLE, Wis. — A jury has found an Iowa County mother and daughter not guilty in the death of a teenager under their care in 2018.

Laurie and Alexis Barry were each charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide as a party to a crime in the death of 13-year-old Selah Kaden, who was living in the Barry home when she died in May 2018. Kaden was sent to live with the Barrys in Mineral Point by her parents, who live in North Carolina, due to behavioral problems she was having at home.

The Barrys say Kaden had been “fake-fainting” as part of her acting out and had been intentionally falling down the stairs. They said on the day Kaden had died, they thought she was again faking an injury before they realized something was wrong. Prosecutors argued that was not consistent with the injuries Kaden suffered, with a forensic pathologist testifying they thought she died from suffocation and a patterned beating with blunt force, and also believed more than one person was involved in her death.

Defense attorneys for the Barrys argued prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the injuries were the result of abuse or that the Barrys had a role in Kaden’s death.

Jurors received the case just after noon on Tuesday after the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments following a week-long trial. The verdict came just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, a little less than eight hours after the jury got the case.