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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Baby’s killer can be free in 15 years

Barry McAdoo, who was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for killing his 15-month-old son, is shown being wheeled into court in March for his preliminary hearing. In a suicide attempt, McAdoo passed out in the snow and both of his feet were severely frostbitten and later amputated. 
 (File/ / The Spokesman-Review)
Christopher Rodkey Staff writer

A Coeur d’Alene man who killed his 15-month-old son will spend at least 15 years in prison.

Barry L. McAdoo, 30, sat silently in a wheelchair Thursday as 1st District Judge Charles Hosack sentenced him to life imprisonment with his first chance at parole in 15 years. McAdoo had entered into a plea agreement with Kootenai County prosecutors in which he admitted no wrongdoing but acknowledged that authorities have enough evidence to convict him of second-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 16 death of his son, Brandon.

Doctors determined the baby had been shaken to death, but McAdoo told police he was trying to revive hi son after he choked on a piece of plastic bag. Under pressure from investigators, McAdoo changed his story to say that he lost his temper and struck the child, knocking him into a wall.

McAdoo disappeared after the crime, which took place on his birthday. He went to Tubbs Hill and tried to commit suicide, said his attorney, Lynn Nelson, before the sentence was handed down.

McAdoo told police he had ingested 50 sleeping pills and rat poison after the crime. His attorney said he contracted frostbite, and when he tried to stand up he broke his ankle. After being referred to a Spokane hospital, his legs were amputated below the knee.

“Every day he looks down at his legs, he’ll remember what happened to his son,” Nelson said in a final plea for the judge to consider leniency in the sentencing.

McAdoo was given credit for time served, and would be 45 years old before he can seek parole.

Angela Cowles, McAdoo’s wife and mother of the toddler, was not present at the sentencing.

Hosack said whether McAdoo will make his own choice about whether he will be paroled.

“This type of sentence leaves it up to you,” the judge told him.