Bratt Couple Charged With Child Abuse After Young Girl Suffers Numerous Broken Bones

August 6, 2020

A Bratt couple is facing felony child abuse charges after an infant girl was airlifted to the hospital with numerous broken bones and injuries.

Shannon Anthony Barnhill, 28, was charged with first degree felony aggravated child abuse causing great bodily harm. Brittany Paige Barnhill, 24, was charged with second degree felony child neglect with great bodily harm for failing to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from abuse.

The young victim was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital with head trauma. She suffered a skull fracture, a fractured collarbone, a fractured leg, a fractured arm, and was hemorrhaging, according to an arrest report. The child also had healing rib fractures on both sides and a healing left arm fracture from previous injuries.

A Florida Department of Children and Families investigator stated that a witness said Shannon Barnhill hit the child in the head two times. The report noted that the child is not capable of rolling over, crawling or standing due to her young age, according to an arrest report.

The DCF investigator stated Brittany Barnhill provided several different stories to explain the extensive injuries, but none of the reasons were plausible and did not explain the injuries. Her stories included the child was delivered with forceps, she was hit with a toy, she fell out of her bassinet three to four weeks ago and she has seizures, according to DCF.

Most of Shannon Barnhill’s statements were redacted from his arrest report. The arrest report states he told the investigator that the child fell and then said she fell “a while back”. The DCF investigator also said Shannon Barnhill told him “I didn’t hit the kid” without being prompted.

During the recorded 911 call, Shannon Barnhill never told the operator that the child fell. Instead, he said she was screaming and then became unresponsive like she was having a stroke.

Two of Brittany Barnhill’s relatives told DCF that they saw the child on the day of the incident, and the child appeared to be uninjured and slept most of the time.

This was not the first time DCF had contact with the Barnhill family.

In 2015, DEF was alerted to household violence that threatened a child, but the case was closed with no indicators of child abuse. The investigator noted verbal aggression by Brittany (Mize) Barnhill.

In 2017, another child of the Barnhills was taken to the hospital because he favored his right leg. A scan revealed the growth of new bone around the child’s leg and a small healing bruise on the child’s buttocks consistent with the size and shape of a finger, according to the arrest report. The case was closed with notations that the parents’ reactions were abnormal considering the circumstances. An arrest report states the parents immediately told the investigator that they did not injure the child and that their 1-year old daughter could have been the perpetrator.

In late July, the DCF Child Protection Team examined three other siblings in the home that indicated abuse, the arrest report states. DCF said all three had marks and bruises in various places that included the buttocks, back, legs and shoulders. One child had marks from what appeared to be a belt. DCF noted that all three children were delayed and could not be fully interviewed.

Shannon Barnhill was released from the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $100,000, while Brittany Barnhill remained in jail Thursday with bond set at $50,000.


46 Responses to “Bratt Couple Charged With Child Abuse After Young Girl Suffers Numerous Broken Bones”

  1. Misty Jones on August 12th, 2020 7:31 pm

    Sometimes if they take the children from the home, the foster homes are just as bad or worse. If the Father did not abuse them, then who??? Where were the family members for the past 5 years when children were battered and bruised? Why have 4 or 5 children if you and/or your spouse are struggling with an intellectual disability? Are there no family members to help them or guide them. Did DCF offer them parenting classes or help after the first incident in 2015? My heart goes out to an infant with that many broken bones. God spare them anymore pain!

  2. mike on August 9th, 2020 4:31 pm

    reading this brought tears to my eyes. how could a person be this way!?! and going on for 5 years!?! no way!

    if i was a praying man, i’d pray these 2 idiots never get to have their hands on another child. :mad:

  3. Melissa on August 9th, 2020 3:54 pm

    DCF and the parents should be held accountable. DCF did not do their job to protect the children knowing the potential of abuse going on not once but several occasions. Neither parent is innocent. Both were involved therefore both should be sentenced to prison.

  4. Becky on August 7th, 2020 10:56 pm

    These are the kind of people that should be locked up forever. I pray that this innocent child is not returned to her parents and is placed in a loving home.

  5. Beth on August 7th, 2020 10:59 am

    DCF is useless!! They are liars and backstabbers! And money talks!

  6. David on August 7th, 2020 9:20 am

    Defund the DCF
    Change jurisdiction over to Escambia County Sheriffs office and have a child protective division.
    Put it under a Federal

    Over the years the DCF is a noting more than a group with a name that does nothing more or less than go through the motions

    I support making it a Federal offence to harm a child, no plea bargains as in the case concerning the DCF

    The DCF is not an ally for children or anything living.

    Just my opinion but….we see how it works now… dont

  7. Hmmm on August 6th, 2020 11:58 pm

    I’ve knew Shannon when he was a teenager but haven’t seen him since and didn’t know his wife. I’m not trying to be ugly, but I never thought he had the mental capacity to be a parent….and surely his parents were aware of that, too. This is no excuse for any of the horrific things that happened to these children, but I definitely think it might be a contributing factor. I sure wish there was a way that folks could be screened before they were allowed to have children!!

  8. Rebel Howard on August 6th, 2020 10:38 pm

    Why has it taken so many visits, with OBVIOUS abuse going on, for DCF to PROTECT these kids?

  9. DK on August 6th, 2020 9:49 pm

    They both need to be locked up period their track record says it all.When other people find out what their crime is behind bars they will be dealt with accordingly and it will not be pretty.Convicts do not put up with child abuse.

  10. ADH on August 6th, 2020 2:56 pm

    Just when you think things can’t get any worse, you find family member “Chloe” defending the abuser and telling people to “mind their own business.” Family members like you, who ignore this abuse, are just as guilty. Where is the outrage Chloe that an infant in your family family was so badly beaten that they had to be airlifted to the hospital? Instead it is about protecting the abuser’s reputation. Chloe where were you in 2015 and 2017 when the other kids were reported as being abused and the other child was taken to the hospital? Heavenly Father please protect these children and do not allow them to ever go back to these monsters. Amen

  11. Charity on August 6th, 2020 2:17 pm

    My heart is breaking for these poor babies ! I think the judge shouldn’t have set a bond at all & they should both rot in prison. These parents ruined their kids childhood. The kids will end up being depressed and have trouble trusting people because of what their parents did. People like this don’t deserve to have children.

  12. Mary M on August 6th, 2020 1:38 pm

    The parents are directly to blame for this. Even if one parent perpetrated the abuse without the other’s knowledge , injuries that severe could not be covered up if family members were TRULY caring and involved in the lives of these children.A child can’t have multiple broken bones without SOMEONE ( father , grandparent, aunt , social worker ) being aware of it . The family members who ignore obvious signs of abuse are secondarily to blame as well as DCF workers for not following up on signs of abuse and taking legal action to stop it. There is no excuse for anyone turning a blind eye to or making excuses for this abuse as far as I am concerned. Not family and not DCF. This couple should have these children removed from their custody . Hopefully forever. And if you are defending it you are party to it.

  13. James on August 6th, 2020 1:18 pm

    This should have been stopped along time ago, however both of these parents are at fault. Both should serve prison time and never have children again. They are pure evil. How would they like to be abused just like what they did to their children. Trash..

  14. C B on August 6th, 2020 12:46 pm

    I pay no attention to comments “he is not a bad person, and would never put his hands on kids”. Shannon knows what is going on, but I guess he chooses to act like he and his bride is not part of it. This couple has had several run-ins with DCF and are abnormal and evil folks.

    God please take this child to a safe haven, and rid her of these evil parents. Terminate parental rights – the Barnhill’s don’t deserve children. There are people in this world that would love to have a child.

    I’m glad there are witnesses to these incidents despite what my other relative says… NOT BAD PEOPLE. You learn something everyday about people when they open their mouth and speak.

  15. J.Larry Seale on August 6th, 2020 12:46 pm

    These two don’t deserve to any more children.
    both should be fix. So, they want be able to harm
    any more kids…………………

  16. Hmmm on August 6th, 2020 11:51 am

    @Chloe So Shannon didn’t know anything about any child abuse all this time? He just thought the child fell off the bed? Please don’t defend either of these people… it’s not a good look. This is sickening and they both are to blame. Things like this just don’t happen out of the blue… it’s indicative of a long-standing atmosphere of abuse and my heart bleeds for this child.

  17. Suzie B on August 6th, 2020 11:34 am

    There are so many loopholes in the system that the children fall through the cracks even with investigations. If a child is taken by a relative for instance and living elsewhere for any length of time, even weeks, DCF confirms that the child is safe and CLOSES the case. If the same child is returned to the abusive home, the case is still closed and no following is done unless another incident occurs and is reported. This particular situation is sad and makes me sick that these poor children are subjected to this treatment regularly.

  18. Child Advocate on August 6th, 2020 11:09 am

    I believe that both of these people should be imprisoned for the rest of their days, and that’s being nice. It doesn’t matter which one was actually doing the physical abuse, knowing your child or grandchild, ANY CHILD is being abused and NOT speaking up and taking action makes you just as guilty as the one being physically abusive to the children. Defending a person who abuses children, or defending a person who stands by and lets it happen, is obviously ridiculous and proves that someone is living in a state of fantasy where it’s impossible that a seemingly nice person isn’t capable of something as atrocious as child abuse. Whomever didn’t take the time to remove these children from this home are also just as responsible for the abuse and should also be punished.

  19. elliemae on August 6th, 2020 10:52 am

    Chloe…….the description of the injuries, “She suffered a skull fracture, a fractured collarbone, a fractured leg, a fractured arm, and was hemorrhaging, according to an arrest report. The child also had healing rib fractures on both sides and a healing left arm fracture from previous injuries.”
    Sadly, you seem to be more worried about his reputation than what these children have went through. Someone “put their hands on” these kids. If he didn’t, but he knew, he is not a “good person.” You, and your family have major issues.

  20. David on August 6th, 2020 10:50 am

    “This was not the first time DCF had contact with the Barnhill family.”
    GREAT JOB DCF…DCF needs disbanded and the Sheriffs Office needs to take over.
    DCF is a paycheck only

  21. Maree Xenos on August 6th, 2020 10:42 am

    How tragic for these children. Where have the rest of the family been? I can assure you That generally abuse occurs in, by and with the knowledge of Close friends and Family. DCF does a great deal of investigating and often are dependant on Medical and Doctors reports.

  22. Stepuporshutup on August 6th, 2020 10:27 am

    If you want children removed from harmful environments then why don’t you do something besides comment and become a foster parent so the DCF has someone safe they can place the children with!!! It’s so easy to say “take them away from the horrible parents“ but if you have NOWHERE to place them then they have no choice but to!!!

  23. J.S on August 6th, 2020 10:27 am

    To Chloe u can say what u want…u do not know what goes on behind closed doors…even IF he wasn’t a part of it in my book he allowed it so there for he’s guilty too…i pray they never ever get these kids back poor babies

  24. Vicky on August 6th, 2020 10:21 am

    That’s our wonderful DCF for you they take the children that are safe and leave the children like this behind and it’s sickening because if they would have done their job this wouldn’t happen. I am not judging anyone but that baby didn’t hurt it’s self

  25. John Lansky on August 6th, 2020 10:19 am

    @just saying, I agree with you about DCF they should have removed them children along time ago but both parents should have never laid one finger on the children.

  26. Outraged on August 6th, 2020 10:06 am

    To Chloe, by Shannon just standing by and watching this cruel abuse happen to these children, he’s just as guilty as if he himself inflicted the pain and suffering on these children. Tell me, would you just stand by and allow something like this pain and abuse happen to your children? You say, “mind your own business”. Perhaps that’s why it appears habitual abuse happened in this household. No, I don’t know all the details.
    But it is obvious by what has been reported that the children were victims of their parents, the failed system ,and obviously other family members who want folks “to mind their own business.”

  27. Dana Reed on August 6th, 2020 10:04 am

    DCF needs to be punished with the same severity as the abusers. DCF is just as responsible.

  28. Tiffany on August 6th, 2020 10:03 am

    You say leave your family alone where were you when that baby needed you was that baby not family too. Also lauire vallows family also thought she’d NEVER HURT HER KIDS BUT SHE KILLED THEM! family or not she needs investigation to make sure she had no part in it and if she didn’t then no harm no foul right but untill then dcf needs investigation as well as to why this happened! I get so freaking sick when people say oh this one would and could never when in fact everyone is capable of anything… Prayers for that sweet baby as her journey to healing hasn’t even begun the mental anguish that this little baby is going to suffer will stick with this child for the rest of its life is nobody thinking about that regardless if she was involved or not!

  29. Really on August 6th, 2020 9:53 am

    Hey DCF, have you had a chance to tell the kids that this will continue to happen because you will do nothing? Just curious how they took the news. What does it take for action to happen? I certainly hope I don’t see this couple in the news again talking about a murder. I’M OVER PEOPLE HURTING EACH OTHER AND CHILDREN BEING HURT. It should be open season on child abusers and pedophiles.

  30. Jennifer on August 6th, 2020 9:48 am

    For the family member, you know that when things like this happen almost everyone says the same thing. Same with serial killers. He’s just as guilty as she is and vice versa. They’re both bad people and I hope they never have kids in their custody again. Pure filth.

  31. Chloe on August 6th, 2020 9:29 am

    It’s funny how someone can be charged for something when they had no part in it. Yes there are cruel people in this world but Shannon is not one of them. I am a family member and I can for sure say that Shannon Barnhill is not a bad person and would never put his hands on his kids. The world is hard enough right now fighting this pandemic so let’s not belittle someone or judge them when all of the information you have is what you see online. This is way more than just a he said she said. Please mind your business and leave my family alone. Thanks, God bless!

  32. Kim Walther on August 6th, 2020 9:21 am

    This a classic class of DFCS failing children again.This is the exact reason children don’t report abuse.All it does is get them beaten or killed when the investigators walk out the door.Shame on this agency.They need to be held accountable for the countless lives they impacted.

  33. Cw on August 6th, 2020 9:16 am

    That’s pretty bad that DCF left them children and not home that can’t protect their self that’s what DCF is for another case of DCF failing children I just don’t understand this is all on DCF there to blame for this and they just keep letting them have children bring another life into this world there’s are not going to take care of shame on you DCF

  34. Susan on August 6th, 2020 9:07 am

    These ppl should be neutered and spayed to avoid reproduction in the future. Please take those children and do not give them to any relatives of these people either. Get them out of that hell hole

  35. Sam on August 6th, 2020 9:06 am

    I believe DCF should be held accountable for this. 5 years of investigations that were “closed” why? Why? Not enough personnel, funding or someone not doing their job? We need answers. We demand answers for this from our Administrators. Judge – why release them at all and why such a low bail? We have to be the voice for our children and the animals who cannot speak for themselves. Until we stand and demand, laws won’t change. This should not have been allowed to continue. Shame on the DCF and law enforcement and any adult that had a hint that this was happening.

  36. Sehoy on August 6th, 2020 9:01 am

    This child will die if returned to the parents. Hopefully she won’t die from these injuries. DCF has a ” point” system for classifying reports on both kids and elder abuse. I’m not surprised at the flow of events here. The Child Protection Team is often your best weapon in pursuing kid’s cases With injuries like these. With DCF, it often depends on the quality of the worker assigned to the case. There are some really good ones, and some really bad ones. Many of these cases never make it to a judge unless criminal charges are filed; a “contract” is entered between the parents and DCF, and the parents are supposed to comply with the agreement before they get their kids back if they are removed from the home. Federal and state statutes dictate reunification if it is possible–it has to be really bad before kids are removed from the home or parental rights are terminated. Some of the saddest cases I ever saw in court were the dependency cases (where neglect abandonment or abuse is determined when the parents deny the allegations). A case like this would be one of the rare ones where DCF might start with a parental rights termination petition. I’m talking civil dependency cases here. Criminal charges can always be filed if the State Attorney decides to do so. You could have a civil case and a criminal case going on at the same time.

  37. Pat hunter on August 6th, 2020 9:00 am

    What happened to the other children ? Especially since they are impaired, please tell me they were removed from that place

  38. Pat hunter on August 6th, 2020 8:53 am

    Omg !!! Please put them in general population with a announcement of what they are in jail for, let the inmates take care of them, or better yet , A Firing Squad, they should not be able to breath the same air as we do. Crazy morons.

  39. JustSaying on August 6th, 2020 6:41 am

    When they get out on bond, let us know and we can have a “peaceful” protest in Bratt!

  40. Rasheed Jackson on August 6th, 2020 6:41 am

    At what point does DCF actually take action? So Sad that these children are left to be abused over and over, and where are the family members?

  41. sam on August 6th, 2020 6:40 am

    it’s pretty obvious that the child is in danger if left with these people. i feel for the child. i won’t comment on the adults, it’s not printable.

  42. Save the children on August 6th, 2020 6:40 am

    I don’t know who I am angrier with…the parents, DCF or the judge that issued such a ridiculous LOW bond! Hoping the kids are removed from the home and never subjected to the parents ever again! Pray all the kids recover

  43. Karima Abdel-Meguid on August 6th, 2020 6:31 am

    DCF left Thor’s kids for 5 years. Shameful

  44. JTV on August 6th, 2020 5:32 am

    If true, they should both be sterilized
    Pure trash

  45. Dawn Hayes on August 6th, 2020 4:49 am

    sounds like DCF has some explaining to do as to why they allowed children to be left in the home with documented abuse.

  46. Just Saying on August 6th, 2020 2:55 am

    Am I the only one who thinks this baby’s injuries are the fault of DCF because they’ve had more than enough reports/investigations to figure out what’s going on in this household?????

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