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Woman Sentenced In Abuse Of Adopted Kids Case Has Sentence Modified

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - An adoptive mother convicted of child endangerment had her sentence modified Friday.

Kristen Barbour still faces 6 to 12 months in jail.

A judge ruled Barbour will serve her sentence in Mercer County, where she will be able to care for her biological children during the day while her husband works, and will spend the nights at the Mercer County Jail.

Barbour's sentence was transferred to the Mercer County Jail, where work release is possible. The Allegheny County Jail only permits that in alternative housing.

The issue was the employment of her husband Douglas Barbour. Because he now works at a floral nursery, she would have no role in the upbringing of her biological children without the adjustment, says her lawyer.

"Her day would begin waking up in the Mercer County Jail," said defense attorney Robert Stewart. "She would then be able to leave and the window would have to be determined by the warden how many hours -- 10 hours, 12 hours and then at the end of the day, she would return to the Mercer County Jail, where she would stay until the next morning for six days out of seven."

Her husband Douglas Barbour was sentenced to five years probation in the case.

The Barbours were convicted after agreeing to a plea bargain in June.

According to the criminal complaint, inside the couple's Franklin Park home, the adopted Ethiopian children were abused and assaulted.

Investigators say the boy reported that he was once thrown to the ground, hitting his head, and punished by standing in a dark bathroom.

As part of the plea agreement, the Barbour's agreed to terminate their parental rights.

"I'm as pleased as I think we could be with the outcome today," said Allison Peterson who now takes care of the Barbour's adoptive children.

The Peterson family watched the proceedings, along with advocates who have watched the case closely.

"Today we came as members of a community of people who are concerned that we are able to represent everyone, that all children's lives matter, that adopted people's lives matter and that black lives matter," Peterson said.

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