Trial set for mother, boyfriend in Owen Barker murder case

A mother and her boyfriend accused of causing a 3-year-old boy’s death could face criminal trials in the next few months.
Jessica Cuffman
Jan 9, 2013


Danielle Flannery, 22, appeared wearing glasses and green jail garb Monday in Erie County Common Pleas Court for a pretrial hearing.

Charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Owen Barker, her son, her case is set for trial Feb 12.

Owen died July 30 at Firelands Regional Medical Center.

Police and prosecutor’s have said the boy suffered a fatal blow to his chest that day, when he was home alone with Flannery’s boyfriend, Michael Milner, 24.

Autopsy results showed Owen suffered heavy internal and external bruising to his head, lungs and abdomen, in addition to the injury to his chest.

Milner has been charged with aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and endangering children.

He could face the death penalty if convicted of the aggravated murder charge. His case is set for trial March 14.

Investigators have said they believe Flannery knew about ongoing abuse Milner inflicted on Owen.

At a brief hearing Monday, Flannery’s attorney, Michael Duff, and Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter discussed sharing children services records concerning Owen.

“Normally, children services records are privileged,” Baxter said. “But with the nature of this case, I’m willing to provide as much discovery as I can.”

Duff agreed to accept the records after Baxter redacts the privileged part of the investigative files.

Social workers investigated the couple at least twice before Owen was killed.

Both Milner and Flannery are incarcerated at the Erie County jail, though Flannery had earlier requested to be released before the holidays.

Judge Roger Binette declined to lower her $120,000 bond after learning that even though she’d been ordered to have no contact with Milner, she did anyway.

He reminded her in court Monday about the order.

“You’re not helping yourself by violating the court’s order,” Binette said.




Oh, great, spend time with the guy who killed your son????? You really are a piece of work. I hope they put him to death and put you away young lady. You don't care that he killed your son, or you would not be anywhere near this animal.


I agree with wiredmama. It doesn't bother her that he killed her son she would rather be with him. They should both be put away for lifetime.

Taxed Enough Already

maybe they could get a bogo free, sale on lethal injections.


Both of them should be zapped out of this life.

Save taxpayers' dollars.

Seen it All

As much as I agree with everyone else on throw the book at the mother for choosing this lowlife over her precious baby. I am also sitting here asking WTH Family Services?? Investigated them twice!?! I had read about the one time, when Milner promised to never do it again, but now I'm hearing TWICE??? Some heads need to roll down in that office!!

Taxed Enough Already

absolutely I agree that someone at Children Services needs to be held responsible.


they're trying to get their stories straight.


Electric Chair. SOON.


Flannery is disgusting.


Another sad situation...


all i godda say is all u guys know is what your reading in the paper you dont know anything about my cousin or the life owen lived or why she even wrote him o maybe its because she cares for her son and wanted to know what the hell happend that day! what mother wouldnt want to know why this happend to her son umm any real mother that cared would! and second of all without you knowing any of these people who are you to comment and say what should happen when you dont know anything about the facts of anything at all get your life together and stop talking about people you dont even know and rely and believe whatever the news papers say wow i feel so sorry for all of you god bless


As a MOTHER I would have kicked his deadbeat a** to the curb the FIRST time he laid hands on my child. As a MOTHER I would have seen/known/felt something was wrong. As A MOTHER I would not have contact with the man that KILLED my child. My life is together, I have never been arrested, I have never been in jail, I am married to the father of my children, I have a home, I pay my bills, and I have never harmed or KILLED a child (or allowed it to happen). I am a mother and I would NEVER allow someone to hurt my child, once, twice (probably MORE) and then KILL him. I am sorry for your loss, but coming on here to try and make your cousin sound better is NOT going to help.


That is because you have your head screwed on straight and you understand right from wrong. She doesn't.


Their both baby killing scum that need to be removed from the face of the earth! Btw don't type like you talk!


@jflannery .... any DECENT mother would have been sitting in prison for killing the scum bag that killed her child IF she cared about her child. Any DECENT mother would have NEVER allowed it to happen. This was NOT a one time beating ... that baby was beat on more than one occasion. NOTHING you say will make anyone think any better of her. SHE is just as guilty as Milner. What could Milner possibly tell her as an excuse to why he killed that baby anyway??? They are both disgusting, and in my opinion ... she is even more disgusting than him. She was supposed to protect her baby or die trying. Disgusting P. O. S

Julie R.

What kind of mother -- after the dirty scum-bag spanked a little three-year-old so hard he left bruises on his buttocks and genitals -- would stay with the dirt-bag, much less leave the child alone with him again. She's as guilty as he is. I hope that child haunts her for the rest of her worthless life.


this is what happens when kids have kids... i know that as a father that if anyone touched my child in a way that is displeasing with me it would be the last thing they did alive and my reaction to them doing it would be the last thing i do as a free man. to sit and know that someone abused your child and to be ok with it is sickening. mother of my child or not, if my daughter has any marks on her that cannot be explained and proven as accidental there'd be hell to pay. end of story. doing nothing is unacceptable. period.

he said she said

I understand you wanting to protect your cousin but the truth is Danielle knew what Mike was doing and she made excuses for him. Even though she wasn't home when Mike killed Owie that day, she is just as guilty as Mike. She knew what he was abusing Owie and chose to leave her son with him.
I do know Mike. I wouldn't spit on his a$% if he was on fire; I would suddenly get a case of cotton mouth. I didn't like him the day I laid eyes on him before he opened his mouth to say anything...he was drunk and high when I met him.
I know Danielle too. She was a good mom up until she met this POS. Her son was her life and she would do whatever it was to take care of him. He came into her life and she knew what was going on and instead of getting rid of the boyfriend, she made excuses for him. What did the excuses get for her? A dead child and a prison sentence.
You don't have to bless me, I have my own Higher Power. You should be asking yours to help Danielle and Mike, they are gonna need it where they are going.


i know nothing i say will make her look good because the news papers and all of you are making her look bad i understand what you guys are saying and i want to know awnseres to all of this but all of you also have to understand is this is my family and not only did i lose 1 person i lost 2 people coming on here seeing all these comments makes it even worse to heal from all the stuff ive been going threw with all this ya i should just not read them im sure thats what most of you are going to say but i cant help it yes it was wrong yes she was blinded by it but my cousin is not the one to say okay you can kill my son not one person not even her ever saw micheal put his hand on that baby again i understand were you guys are coming from but i deff dont believe she is as guilty as he is but no matter what i say everyone will keep contiuning to say what they want to say so im done voicing my opinon the best for me would prob be to just stay off here and stop reading comments.


With all due respect, it probably would be, but let me say this. Your cousin had a decision to make: this guy or her son. Where did she think the buises were coming from? It certainly did not come from thin air. And after her little boy died, she should have stayed away from him.

I understand she probably loves this guy, but he killed her child. He is the monster here, but your cousin did that baby no favors by protecting this man. Now he is dead.

Look what she has done to YOU and your family.

This case is going to be just awful for your family and you have my deepest sympathy. You will find practically no one defending your cousin. I know that is hard to understand because you love her.

No one will defend him either. He is a monster.

But you have my sympathy for your losses. You are an innocent victim. May God Bless you.


Childrens services, where were you? Danielle stood by him after her son's body was cold, she surely cant be all that innocent,or stupid, or needy.


yes, she can be that needy.


thanks wiredmama222 and queenjhb actually i did hear about child services and i was around he spanked him because he was trying to go out the window and the second time had nothing to do with spanking him after he promised he would never do it again my cousin had a blood disorder that caused him to bruise very easy even if it would be just from tickeling him to him sleep with a book one night and woke up with a big bruise on the side of his face the blood disorder is why i was so blind to seeing that he was the reason for this and because i didnt see him as much as i wanted to because i was raising my son and as far as im concered im not talking to you queenjhb im talking to wiredmama222 you can come on here and say whatever you want to but dont try and comment to me thanks


You said that all in one sentence, without any CAPS, paragraph breaks or punctuation and expect yourself to be taken seriously? That post has headache written all over it.


umm i dont care if i had any of that at all in there.When i'm trying to express how i feel, do you really think i'm worried about a punctuation!!! the words are right there for you to read. Would you like me to write it again for you sweetie.


If you want to be taken seriously, yes, you need to learn how to express yourself in the proper way. Regardless of emotion. It's called composure. You can still express your emotion and if done in a proper way it won't seem so childish, "sweetie".


why would i care if no one is going to believe what im saying. Or even look at anything in any different then they do now. What i have learned from all these comments is that your random people, you are people that just look at the paper and believe everything u see. You don't know me and you don't know my family so nothing you guys say should effect me in any way. You don't know if my cousin knew, you don't know why she wrote him, or what you would even do if you were stuck in a situation like this and just lost your son. I know my cousin and I know that if she knew this was happening to her child she would of killed this f***** monster we all would of! he's a fake sorry son of a b**** that will pay for what he has done to me and my family. So say what you want to say okay i'm done saying what i think none of you people and your comments mean anything to me goodbye.


I am also a family member of Danielle's.One thing I can say is I raised children and would of known if someone was harming my babies.None of us even knew about children services being involved (except her mother)she was the one who reported it.I think children services needs to remove children and then investigate and more children would be alive.I just keep asking myself why and how?If I would of known what he was doing to him I would of went and removed him myself.I guess none of us will ever know the whole story of what happened.Very sad that sweet little Owen had to lose his life,it still haunts me today.


JFLANNERY I am so sorry for what you are going through. People don't know when to stop running their mouth. CONVICT all in the NEWS MEDIA that SUCKS to begin with. IGNORE all these people they do not know what her life or Mike's life were like. My prayers to your whole family there are more victims in this story then people want to know about they think it is all about them and their opinions.