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Hearing for motion to dismiss charges in adoption scam case Friday

The attorney for a man accused of abandoning his adopted daughter hopes to get charges dropped this week.
Adoptive parents Michael and Kristine Barnett were both booked and bailed out of the Tippecanoe County Jail. (Photo: Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department)

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. — The attorney for a man accused of abandoning his adopted under-aged daughter hopes to get charges dropped this week.

Michael Barnett faces neglect charges after investigators claim he abandoned his adopted daughter Natalia Grace.

The case made national headlines.

Barnett's attorney, Terrance Kinnard, motioned to dismiss six of the eight neglect charges against his client filed by the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor.

Kinnard argues Natalia pretended to be a child when he and his then ex-wife adopted her.

But a judge ruled the former couple can't face neglect of a dependent charges when a previous judge ruled in court changing Natalia's minor age to an adult age based on her year of birth.

The same six neglect charges have already been dropped against the ex-wife Christine Barnett.

Kinnard has insisted all along that his client and ex-wife are victims of an elaborate adoption scam that has left them emotionally scarred for life.

"Removing the first six was a major milestone for us because we believe based on well-founded case law and statues that are in existence today, as well as when this case started nine years ago, we believe those were in favor of us," Kinnard said. 

The motion to dismiss hearing is Friday in Tippecanoe County, where the two remaining charges accused them of neglecting a person with a medical need.

Kinnard shared that the attorneys for Christine Barnett have worked non-stop on the case. Both will now focus on fighting the remaining two charges.

Natalia Grace has denied any wrongdoing and insists she was a child when the couple adopted her more than nine years ago.