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Court releases man accused of kidnapping child at gunpoint, despite having “major concern” for child’s safety


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    CLAY COUNTY, Missouri (KCTV, KSMO) — A Clay County court lowered the bond of a Kansas City man accused of kidnapping a child at gunpoint, despite the court having “major concern” for the safety of the child and her mother.

After DeShawn Barr-Cotton’s bond was lowered from $100,000 to $75,000, his name disappeared from the Clay County jail inmate list, indicating he has been released from custody.

Barr-Cotton was the subject of a local manhunt May 5 after an AMBER Alert was issued in Gladstone. Police said he brandished a handgun while taking a two-year-old girl away from her mother, then fled. The child was later found safe, but Barr-Cotton eluded authorities until about a week later.

Barr-Cotton was arrested May 13 and charged with kidnapping, burglary, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon—all felonies. His bond was originally set for $100,000, but his attorney filed a motion asking the judge in the case to lower the defendant’s bond. Four days later, on Monday, the court granted that request, lowering it to $75,000.

In the text detailing Barr-Cotton’s bond reduction, the court notes that it took several factors into account when deciding whether to reduce the suspect’s bond, including the safety of the child and mother. The text noted “a major concern” for their safety and even said the defendant was unlikely to appear at subsequent court hearings, because he has had 16 instances of a failure to appear in court in the past.

After granting the bond reduction, the court ordered Barr-Cotton to have no contact with the victims in the case, and to report to Northland Dependency Services, which offers post-release services and supervision. The defendant was ordered to check in each week for the duration of the case.

Barr-Cotton will also be subject to GPS monitoring and regular drug testing. He’s also not allowed to possess a firearm or drink alcohol.

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