Hearing continued for man charged with torture


OROVILLE, Calif. - The preliminary hearing for the man accused of torturing his girlfriend's 8-year-old son in Oroville has been continued.

This is the fourth time since the beginning of the year that David Barber's preliminary hearing has been continued. One reason, his attorney has been dealing with his own legal trouble in Yuba County. Jesse Santana was recently acquitted on charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

As for Barber, deputies say he repeatedly punched and used a belt on his girlfriend's 8-year-old son. The victim had two severe black eyes, bruises on his buttocks, back and chest. Deputies said he also hit the boy in his genitals. Tuesday morning, Santana was in court with barber and asked the preliminary hearing to be pushed back two months. Santana told the court he's still waiting for the police report from Oroville police. The judge granted his request for the extension which prosecutors say can hurt their case.

"Unlike fine wines, criminal cases do not age well," said Butte County District Attorney, Mike Ramsey. "Victims such as this, very young victims, their memories start to fade. Even adult witnesses, their memories start to fade."

Barber is also waiting to be sentenced on an elder abuse case he was convicted of in December, but the courts are waiting to sentence him on that case since barber is facing life in prison in the torture case. The victim is under the care of child protective services.

Barber is due back in front of a judge on July 1, and the prosecution hopes for no more continuances.

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