Bluffton Couple Charged in Death of 3-Year-Old, Appears in Court

BLUFFTON, Ind. (WOWO): The Bluffton couple charged in the death of 3-year-old Owen Collins made an appearance in Wells County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.

Thirty-year-old Zachary Barnes and 21-year-old Breanna Arnold, the boys' mother, will appear again in court in May 13, but  as separate cases on in the morning, the other in the afternoon.

A trial date has yet to be set. Wells Circuit Court Judge Kenton Kirkhoff sharply reminded attorneys that the case must get on the trial calendar. Barnes and Arnold appeared as a part nearly a dozen other cases appearing before the judge. 

Both were wearing bullet-proof vests and in shackles. Their actual time before the just lasted just a few minutes each.

Arnold and Barnes admitted to using methamphetamine the night before the boy's death. Barnes said in an interview with detectives that they were “shooting dope” and nobody in the home called police because they were scared.

Instead, the court documents say the they encased the boy's body in plastic wrap and put him in a drawer in the bedroom.

In charging documents released by prosecutors, both Arnold and Barnes are also accused of exposing Owen to methamphetamine, the chemicals used to make methamphetamine and the opportunity for him to obtain and ingest the drugs, which “resulted in the death” of the child.

Court documents say that at one point, the idea of “chopping him up and throwing him into the river” was discussed, but decided instead to put him in a cardboard box and take him to the wooded area.