Demetrius Barton arrested after crash kills son

    11:31 PM, Jan 31, 2011   |    comments
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    Little Rock Police charged Demetrius Barton this weekend with negligent homicide, reckless speeding and a DWI. But Barton says he did none of the above.

    "That's exactly how I had to deal with it, he died in my arms," Barton said.  

    Demetrius Barton is filled with sadness over the loss of his eight year-old son, Demere.

    "He loved your heart, he didn't see you as an individual, any body could be you," Barton said.

    But the fatal crash in his Dad's Chevy Tahoe, also sparking plenty of passion.

    "I wasn't reckless driving. I was trying to avoid a situation instead ended up in one," Barton said.  

    Barton says on Saturday evening along Baseline Road, he was driving home from a trip to buy some cigarettes. He had two of his kids and a nephew in the car.

    "Somebody stopped directly in front of me, which made me have to go around," Barton said.       

    As he made the maneuver, Barton says another car clipped him from behind, causing the Tahoe to roll several times.

    "He says my eyes were watery and they were red, well I just flipped over in a vehicle, of course they were," Barton said.

    That's how Barton's responding to his DWI charge from police who described a "strong odor and bloodshot, watery eyes" for Barton in reports. We also asked him straight out.

    "There was no drinking? There was no drinking," Barton said.  

    He also says that maneuver he made was to protect the kids in his car. And he denies police reports stating one witness seeing Barton speeding without headlights before the accident.  

    "I drive a 2003, as soon as you turn it on the headlights go on," Barton said.  

    More of that passion spilling out as grief over his son sets in.       

    Lt. Terry Hastings with Little Rock Police says blood tests on Barton were done at the hospital Saturday night and they are still waiting for the final results.

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A Little Rock father is fighting back, facing charges of killing his eight-year-old son during a weekend wreck in Southwest Little Rock. 

    But Hastings alleges officers at the scene say it was clear Barton had alcohol in his system.

    Barton has since bonded out of jail and is back home with his family.

    As for Demere Barton, we're told he was a third grader at Stephens Elementary in Little Rock. His father says his son will also be remembered as good student.

    From the Little Rock Police Department

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A Little Rock man is under arrest after a Saturday night crash kills his 8-year-old son.

    According to the police report, Demetrius Barton says he was driving west bound on Baseline Road when he says another vehicle hit the rear of his car and started pushing him forward, causing him to loose control of his vehicle which made it roll over several times.

    A witness of the crash says she heard a loud noise behind her and when she looked in the rear view mirror, she saw a tan SUV rolling over. Another witness says he was at Merrivale Road stopped for traffic on Baseline when he saw a tan SUV without headlights heading east bound on Baseline at a very high rate of speed. The witness said he had to wait until another vehicle passed before he drove on to Baseline, and he saw the accident and saw the tan SUV that had just passed him.

    After the accident, the driver of the vehicle who hit Barton from behind and two of his teenage passengers were taken to St. Vincent's. Another passenger, 33, was taken to Baptist with back and neck pain, and another teenage passenger was taken by his father to Arkansas Children's Hospital.

    Barton complained he was in pain, and police saw a laceration on the left side of his forehead, but he refused transport by MEMS to a hospital, but police smelled a strong odor and said Barton had bloodshot, watery eyes. He was taken by police to St. Vincent's to have blood drawn.

    One of his passengers, a 9-year-old boy, was taken to Arkansas Children's Hospital complaining of leg pain but his injuries were non-life threatening. Another passenger, a 10-year-old girl was taken to ACH with a contusion to her left eye and a broken collar bone.

    Barton's son, 8-year-old Demere Barton, was taken to ACH with life-threatening injuries. A doctor pronounced him dead at 7:01 p.m. The doctor told police that Demere had head injuries and a broken back.

    Barton had blood drawn at St. Vincent's and was then taken to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office and is now charged with felony negligent homicide, reckless driving and DWI.

    Barton's blood is being sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for further testing.
    (Source: Little Rock Police Dept.)

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