UPDATE: Milner gets life without parole

Child killer will never get out
Courtney Astolfi
Aug 8, 2014


UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: Judge Roger Binette sentenced Michael Milner to life without parole today for the 2012 killing of 3-year-old Owen Barker. 

Check back here for updates

A judge will decide today what penalty to impose on the Sandusky man responsible for the death of his girlfriend's three-year-old son.

Michael Milner, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder earlier this year for the 2012 beating death of Owen Barker.

Milner will be sentenced to prison this afternoon, at the conclusion of a lengthy hearing intended to help Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette decide just how long to put Milner behind bars.

Click HERE for past stories

Four options are on the table: life without parole, or life with the possibility of parole after 20, 25, or 30 years.

Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter previously recommended Milner be sentenced to one of the latter three possibilities, but the final say ultimately rests with Binette.

To better inform that decision, two days worth of court proceedings were set aside for family members, victims, and other involved individuals to speak about Milner and the circumstances that led up to Owen's death.

On Wednesday, Milner's mother, twin brother, his mother's boyfriend, and a cousin all spoke of the boy “Mikey” once was, and the troubled path he embarked on early in life.

The relatives each acknowledged the rocky home life Milner endured as a child and in his teens — but each relative also addressed Milner's desire to do right by his then-girlfriend's young son, Owen.

“Anyone (who) takes the time to...get to know Mike will tell you that he's a very loving, (emotional) and sometimes goofy young man that has a big heart. I don't know exactly what happened, but I do know that Mike never meant to harm Owen, that he loved that little boy and he has regretted his actions that night since the split-second it happened,” Milner's mother told the court.

After the relatives made their statements, Angela Wiley, a mitigation specialist with the state public defender's office, was questioned by the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge.

Wiley was tasked with reviewing Milner's life — had the death penalty case gone forward without a plea deal being reached, Wiley would have testified about everything from Milner's school life, to friends, to family life and his criminal past.

At defense attorney John Parker's prompting, she shared numerous details about Milner's past, including the alleged toxic environment in which Milner's father was raised, and failed counseling efforts during Milner's youth.

However, when Baxter had the opportunity to question Wiley, the prosecutor focused on the various and conflicting versions of what Milner claimed happened the night Owen died.

Baxter also brought up old bruises found on Owen, indicative of ongoing abuse, as well as multiple threats Milner has allegedly made against the himself and a Sandusky police detective.

Proceedings then broke for the day, but will resume this morning at 8:30 a.m.

At that time, a psychologist will address the court, as will family members of Owen.

A final sentencing decision should be reached by the end of today. 


Sal Dali

His father's toxic upbringing? God rest their souls, both of his fathers parents are dead and would not have been able to defend themselves. The fact remains he repeatedly abused this little boy and eventually killed him, it cannot be undone. Regrets, I bet. An individual can learn to be abusive--however, they also have the capacity to learn from past experiences. No one likes to be abused, if Michael was abused, I'm sure he didn't like it, if his father was, he probably didn't like it either. Why then would Michael assume Owen liked it over and over and over again? We do not show children love through abuse and those whom have experienced abuse should know how it feels to be abused more than anyone else. He determined the fate of two people the day Owen died, his own and that of Owen. Children's Services should have removed Owen the time he was beaten for supposedly trying to go out the window and his his genitals were bruised--they too failed to protect him.


Where is Mikeyeatshit and sucker and jerry sandusky? Guess since their brother was found guilty their family is Mad. Well maybe Sharpton Jackson maybe Jonny Cochran will come from his grave. After all they are known for helping the less fortunate.

sandtown born a...

Your nothing more than a racist pig always trying to stir up something. Milner deserves what he got. Although Milner Clinton and randlemen could have all swung from a noose and I wouldn't have lost a second of sleep


I don't believe in the noose thing but all have gotten the appropriate time in prison except for Randleman in my opinion. We never got the entire story on that and I prefer to know as much as possible before passing judgment. Just because you are a LEO does not mean you are always right.



if any dead child's life is so valuable, why is an attorney in Sandusky practicing law? he is responsible for the death of a child and while in prison, studied the law and got his law degree after he was released. there are two sets of standards that are practiced in the legal world. the outcome depends on how much money one has to buy the defense. think of that the next time you hire KRB.


I remember when that happened, his wife, the mother of that baby, stayed with him and was the most mean miserable witch ever walked on earth. I was a kid out of high school working for her and her pleasure came from making young kids cry. I used to cry all the way to work and all the way home she was so mean. it never occurred to me to quit.


I agree word!

Julie R.

If you're talking about Bailey, I thought that little boy crawled into a laundry hamper and suffocated. That's the story I heard, anyway.


an accident, as you described, would not have put him in prison.

whats up hometown

They should inform all the other inmates what he is in there for so he gets a nice welcome to prison


They already know I bet.


I agree: I'm also sick and tired of hearing about "difficult childhoods" and "bad upbringings." The ONLY criteria as far as I'm concerned is whether or not a criminal knew what s/he was doing was wrong. Since Milner lied to police, he was clearly trying to hide what he did and thus knew it was wrong. Just as clearly, he did it anyway. The outcome was inevitable; I'm just glad he was sentenced to the maximum.

Here's another idea: Instead of endlessly feeling sorry for people who had "difficult childhoods," maybe we should use their experiences as object lessons for all, INCLUDING the victim. If Milner was ever badly beaten, did he LIKE it? If Milner didn't feel loved, did it make him feel GOOD? You'd think somebody who's suffered would do the opposite, wouldn't you? I'm betting our general acceptance of people doing bad things just because they had bad things happen to THEM once upon a time is just one more reason these scumbags think they can get away with whatever it is they're doing!


Unfortunately, sometimes the behavior is just learned and the person abused never deals with the past abuse. Others that have been abused vow not to be like their abuser. Let's not forget there are also those that lived a good life and still chose to be criminals.


Deal with it, or don't deal with it. The bottom line is that MOST abused children (who unquestionably can suffer problems from social difficulties to mental illness to self abuse with drugs and the like if they choose NOT to deal with it) don't grow up to murder babies in cold blood.

And yes, kids that had what most of us would consider a good childhood ALSO grow up to be criminals. But you'll note you used the word "choose" in your contention. And you're right. We have CHOICES. And when people like Milner make the wrong one, there are no adequate excuses. None.


......and the mother?


Don't get me started. (I suspect that, this time around, you and I probably feel just about the same if that helps.)


Tired of hearing about Milner and his childhood trauma. This is about Owen Barker, an innocent child who was repeatedly beaten by a monster. Hopefully Milner will be beaten daily in prison.....and then burn in hell for eternity.


Maybe all u idiotic peolpe should just all shut up. life with out parole maybe he deserves but ur familes would be crying the same crap if it was u. bet you wouldnt be running your mouths than. Hell most of ya'll dun even know the case just running your mouths. stupid!

O and let them inform the other inmates. nothing is going to happen. I dun know what u guys think prison is but its not that. Child killer, murders, baby touchers all that. NOTHING happen to them in prison.


Where did you get that last bit of info? I have to admit life w/o parole is awful but I have to think about the victim.


Don't know the case? He beat a child and the child died? What is there to know. There was proof from an autopsy. Was the autopsy wrong? Were there no injuries? Or was there no prior incidents?

You seem to know so much. You DUN been to prison? You know?


Who are you talking to? Maybe you should reread my comments!


My comment was not to you, it was for LG. And the nonsense they were spewing. They must be related to the scum. Trying to defend the child killer.


My bad!

Just a Squid

As a blood relative of this dysfunctional family, he is getting what he deserves. With that said. The amount of physical, emotional, sexual, drug, and spousal abuse permeating the Milner family as far back as the grandmother is astounding. It is surprising to me this hasn't happened sooner. With my family's history being what it is and the dubious integrity of the erie county judicial system, at no point was this turd going to receive a fair trial. I saw it as a chance for someone in the family to not only pay for his own sins but that of his father and uncles.

Taxed Enough Already

I can't believe his mommy called him Mikey (to assume we would see the child in him)and described him as "goofy". Goofy doesn't begin to touch it. I am so angry at Baxter right now for wanting to give this animal a chance for parole. Baxter will never get another vote from me as prosecutor for this reason alone. This is exactly why we have repeat offenders. I say lock Baxter and Milner up together, they deserve one another. Thank you Judge Binette for having the common sense to lock this monster up for the rest of his life and not listen to Baxter. How does our prosecutor live with himself? I wonder how he would have recommended if little Owen had been his grandchild?

Julie R.

You'll never get the chance not to vote for Baxter. Nobody ever runs against him. As for his good 'ole buddy Binette not listening to him ---- at least it makes Binette look good, i.e. mission accomplished.


Julie is it true you lost a home a a Sheriff's sale or something that cause you to be so bitter against the court system in this town?

Julie R.

Once again, what home? Are you referring to my deceased mother & stepfather's house in Huron that they had built and owned (but not jointly) for 45 years, 36 of those years scot-free & clear of a mortgage ...... the one that Binette, his magistrate Stallkamp, Beverly McGookey and their Lorain County attorney friends from Stumphauzer & O'Toole knew couldn't be sold through normal channels unless the criminal transfer of my mother's half prior to her death on a forged POA hidden in the Lorain County recorder was acknowledged and the property put back into her probate estate ..... so they came up with one of their infamous backroom dealing scams to sell it at a sheriff sale under a fraud preliminary judicial report that falsely stated there were no defects in the title to "Maximal Properties LLC" to use as rental property?


yep that's what I thought. Your bitterness is screaming through with each post.

Julie R.

Duh, I think you're intentionally missing the point, sweetheart, but thanks anyway. I love telling how corrupt your Erie County courts are, especially that more than dirty probate court.