Mother of Owen Barker offers to help prosecutors

A mother charged in the death of her 3-year-old son has offered to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a plea agreement.
Jessica Cuffman
Feb 6, 2013

Danielle Flannery, 22, of Sandusky, was scheduled for trial next week. But at a hearing Monday, her attorney, John Prusak, asked the court to change the date.

"She said she is interested in helping the state in the way of cooperation," Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said. "We're just going to have to address whether or not we're going to use her."

Flannery is charged with involuntary manslaughter, permitting child abuse, endangering a child and obstructing justice, all in connection to the July 30 death of Owen Barker. Police have said she left Owen in the care of her then-boyfriend, Michael Milner, 24, while she was at work that day.

For more on the case, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Register.


Super Judge

Come on Baxter do your job on your own! You dont need her, prison does!


Damn. They say it's the males who want to kill. From these comments it seems quite the opposite. Good thing she is in jail, for I fear that there would be a mob of females at her doorstep ready to kill her on the spot.

he said she said

I agree. She is probably safer in the county than on the street.

he said she said

Really???? You want to step up now that your butt is hot water? How about you should have stepped up when Michael was beating Baby Owen?? Low class is is what it is to want to save your own butt instead of being a mother and protecting your baby!!

You didn't personally kill Owen but you knew that Michael was abusing him. You even stood up and said that he was sorry and it wouldn't happen again. He wasn't sorry for abusing Owen, he was sorry that he got caught!!

Ok so if she couldn't leave because of the abuse, she sure should have put Owen with his father temporarily or her parents. Someone in the family would have stepped up to protect him!! Hell I would have taken him if given the chance and he was no relation except that she dated my son before she left him and went to that Michael.

Owen loved my son and I will forever hear him screaming for my son when I was there helping him move his things out.


Part of her deal should include a medical procedure that will not let have children anymore...this should go for all people convicted of crimes such as this ..we do not need this kind of human roaming the planet doing this again ...or given the opportunity it will not happen then.

Simple Enough II

If only we could......but where do you stop?


This is a shame that something like this has to happen in any family . but the fact is , is that everyone involved with this case should be help accountable and if the laws in this state werent so lax , they would get the be place on death row for the crime .
Theres to much of this going on in this state as well as around the country and to many people are getting off with a slap on the wrist and the cchild is still dead and no justice .

That is why they do this , cause they know they can do it and they get a warm place to sleep and three meals a day at the tax payers expense .


Of course they will use her. Prosecution has a rock solid death penalty case with her testimony. Death is knocking at this guys door; he'll be appealing his death sentence the rest of his life.


I am a family member of Danielle's.Yes I have raised 4 children and I would of known if someone was beating on my children.I in return would of been beating someone right back and then throwing them out.Danielle is not getting off they are just waiting to send her to prison.They are just keeping her around until after Mike's trial.Then they're going to give her ,her prison sentence.We already know that so yes she is going to be paying also.Owen was such a good little boy and something like this should of never happened.RIP baby Owen we love and miss you.


I am sorry for your loss justiceforowen. I wish people would realize there are more victims then baby Owen yes he is the ultimate victim but so is his whole family. My heart breaks for Owen, you and yours and Owens family. I pray he is at peace sitting on our Heavenly fathers lap and playing with him. Jesus is our salvation and little Owen is loved and sad for people that didn't even know of him before this tragedy.


You have my deepest sympathy for your loss. This cannot be easy for your family with his lose at all. But your family must be struggling knowing that Danielle knew he was a bad problem, that family services had been there more than once and that she did nothing to prevent these problems. Now she must stand trial for it which will probably cause her to go to jail for life and he to get the death penalty.

This is a sad situation for your whole family, I am sure. The truth is, she probably has nothing much to give the prosecutor because she wasn't there when this happened, other than to give them background info on him. That isn't much. And frankly that is a slippery slope at best for her as well. She would be better off just to go to court and take what the jury gives her at this point. The prosecutor readily admits they may not even use her so any deal may not even be viable if they don't. I know what this feels like from personal experience.

Again, my sympathies for your loss of Owen. Sincerely. Take care.


If they use her she'll likely get time served + a couple years of probation(likely 5).


I doubt that but time will tell

wiredmama222 guess is she will get 15 to life, out in 18 months for good behavior. They won't use her at all. They got what they wanted in investigative conference. "If they use her at all". They have probably already talked to her so they have what they want. So she is going to jail but they will give her time and she won't get life without parole. They wouldn't dare give her probabtion. Not for this.


If she receives anything less than life without parole, mandatory sterilization should be part of the sentence. NOBODY responsible for the death of a child should get, or deserves to get, a second chance!

nosey rosey

This could have all been prevented if the 2 sorry excuses for humans in this case would have simply used birth control. Sterilization for both seems appropriate at this point.


Do inmates in the Erie County Jail have the privilege of reading the newspaper or better yet, reading this website online? If so, they know their goose is cooked.


they don't have internet, they used to get paper but I think that was stopped not 100% sure though


I just wish i would of known he was beating on him and yes they're were always excuses as to why he was bruised.My daughter offered to take him to the hospital on Friday the Monday before he died but Danielle told her she would take him and never did.Danielle was suppose to be sent to prison on Monday by what they said she isn't getting a trial,they are keeping her around until after Mike's trial encase they need her.She is facing 15 to 30 prison is what they told my mom (her grandmother).


Do NOT be fooled by this sociopathic girl. One of these days, soon, its all going to come out, ALL of it. Then little girl, you'd better pray God takes mercy on your soul.


So, she's offering to help prosecutor's, but didn't do $hit to help her own son?!? Figures. How pathetic!


Make excuses for her all u want. This woman knew her child was being abused, left him in the care of the abusive boyfriend which resulted in the death of Owen. Who doesn't make bad choices? Hers resulted in an innocent child's death. Build your case on Milner without her help. She deserves to get sentenced too. Plead her out so she can continue to breed another innocent child and hook up with a new child murderer who tries to cover up the crime. Yea, that's justice.


That plea BS is BS !


her responsibility was [her child] . His safety and welfare #1. She failed, the little boy is gone, not floating around on a cloud , dead. She should beg to be punished, this is not a mistake, its looking the other way[ after all a man ,any man, is more important than her son]. Remember she was there at the arrainment, for the[man] of her dreams.


Was it not just a couple weeks ago that the SR said she was talking to this man? That she was in contempt of court for speaking to him and not staying away from him? I could have sworn I read that and I know I am not THAT senile. People even talked on here about it.

And NOW she wants to turn State's evidence? Could it be she suddenly is fearful of her own neck? That her attorney finally convinced her that she is going to face perhaps death or prison forever? Gee, what a shame. This isn't her first time in having a problem with children's services and this guy. So why NOW should she be allowed to cop a plea?

Not this time, sweetie. You need to stand up and take your punishment right along with him. Why does the prosecutor even NEED her? Can't they get him without her anyway? Why do they need anything this girl has to say? She wasn't there when it happened. She doesn't need any immunity or help. She was GONE from the house, was she not? She was sucking up to him just a few weeks ago, telling him how much she loved him. She couldn't make much of a witness, now could she?

Come on, prosecutors' office. Are you THAT desperate that you would use an obviously tainted witness to bag this guy? You must have better witnesses, like the guy who stopped over when this guy was running around trying to decide what to do with Owen? Why use her? She doesn't know anything and even if she did, do you think she would do anything to implicate this guy to send him to the needle? Come now! She may be dumb, but she isn't stupid!

It's time to stop playing around with people like they are pawns on a chess board and start getting down and dirty with these jerks. Put them BOTH away....don't pick and chose who you want to go, just because you feel sorry for one of them.

This child died because TWO of them cared more for each other than they did for a child. They both deserve to go to jail, play out their appeals and then be put to death (him) and 15 to life (her), whatever they are getting. Enough said.


wired: you are so articulate and right on about this [mom]. I didnt know she was talking to him recently, really disrespecting to her childs memory, if this is man of her dreams ,she cant get any lower. Dirt bottom , this behavior shows she mentally has no regard for her son at all.


You all are on here screaming for justice for baby Owen, wouldn't you want that done at all costs? So what if she makes a deal, it will strengthen the case against the KILLER!!! Is she guilty of being a bad parent, yes, she's 22, but she did not kill Owen. Let her cop the deal to put Michael away for life. He's not going to get the death penalty, even though he should. It's not like she's not going to do any time, because she will. With the Clinton trial pending, Baxter or the county just don't have money for two captial murder case at the same time. Michael is a dirtbag, yes, and he will get his as soon as he steps into a level three prison in Ohio. Life in prison would be much more suitable in this case. Even if they do give him a shot at parole after 20 or 25 years (because it won't be 15), that doesn't mean he will get it. Please people, let her help the State convict this KILLER of murder so he will have that life tail on the end of his sentence. The last thing we want is this baby killer ending up pleading out to a stated prison term and know he will hit the streets again someday.