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Liverpool Man Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ To Murder

FULTON, NY – Escorted by police, Jay J. Barboni walked quietly into Fulton City Court Thursday evening to face arraignment on a charge of second-degree murder for allegedly causing the death of his girlfriend’s 15-month-old son.

Jay Barboni
Jay Barboni

Barboni, 30, of Falcon Drive in Liverpool, was arrested Thursday after an extensive investigation into the death of the toddler, which took place at Gilbert’s Grove Apartments, 1100 Emery St., Apt. 123 in Fulton on Monday. The investigation was headed by Fulton City Police, with the assistance of the New York State Police.

Represented in court by defense attorney Amy Hollenbeck, Barboni was silent for the majority of the proceedings.

Hollenbeck waived the reading of the accusatory instrument against Barboni and entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. She explained that while she was retained by Barboni’s parents for the arraignment, Barboni indicated that he is laid off from his former job and does not have sufficient funds to hire counsel.

City Court Judge Spencer Ludington remanded Barboni to the Oswego County Correctional Facility without bail and scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for 11 a.m., Aug. 26. Barboni was subsequently escorted from court in tears.

After court, Fulton Police Chief Orlo Green said that any case involving a child fatality is traumatic for the families and for the investigators who work the cases.

“You want to see justice served,” Green said. “I’m glad we were able to make an arrest in this case.”

Green said that the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that the boy’s death was the result of “extensive head trauma.” He said that Barboni has been arrested before but not for anything to that rose to the severity of the current charge.

The case started initially as a medical call for an unresponsive child, Green noted. Since that time, he said that police have conducted an intensive investigation. He said that there was no indication that the child’s death was accidental.

Asked if he anticipates other arrests in connection to the case, Green replied, “At this point, we have our suspect in custody.”

Friends of Barboni who attended the arraignment said after court that they do not believe he could be responsible for the child‘s death.

“I don’t believe it what-so-ever,” said Angela VanBuren, who said she is a friend of both Barboni and the child’s mother.

VanBuren said that Barboni has been around for his girlfriend since the child’s death.

“His only concern has been for (her),” VanBuren said. The child’s mother was not in court, she noted.

VanBuren said that the child — regarded by friends at court as “Baby Nick” — was at a babysitter for the majority of the day Monday.

“She called Jay and said he had to come and get him because she couldn’t take it anymore,” VanBuren said. “Jay went to get him and only had him for a half hour (before the ambulance was called).”

VanBuren noted, too, that the child has had various medical problems and suffered from seizures since his birth, which had him in and out of the hospital.

“I am not definitely on Jay’s side,” VanBuren said. “But right now, I don’t believe he could have done this.”

“He is not the only person who should have been in that courtroom today,” said VanBuren’s father, Martin VanBuren.

Shannon Provost, Barboni’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two children, said while she doesn’t know what happened to the toddler, she does not believe Barboni is capable of killing a child.

“I guess anything is possible,” Provost said. “But I don’t think Jay would intentionally do something to a child, no.”

Provost said that she and Barboni were a couple for 12 years. They have two children together, aged 9 and 10.

“When we were together, he wasn’t the father of the year but he never lost his cool with the kids when they were babies,” Provost said. “When he was with them, he was always a decent dad.”

Provost said the magnitude of what is happening hasn’t “hit home” yet. She has also yet to tell her children what is going on.

“I really don’t know what to say to them,” she said. “I know I am going to have tell them something but I don’t know what to say.”

Provost said that while she and Barboni do not usually get along, she believed things were “looking up” for him in his new relationship.

“I was really happy for Jay,” she said. “I thought he had moved on. He had (the baby’s mother) and things seemed to be going really good.”

She said that her own children were spending time with their father and had mentioned that Barboni was doing things like helping Baby Nick learn to walk and teaching him to call him “Da-da.”

“I don’t know what is going to happen next,” Provost said. “But I am going to be behind him right now if he needs it. Even though we are not together, we will always be family because of our kids. For our kids sake, I want them to see that I am not angry at their father. I won’t say anything negative about him.”

If Barboni is found guilty of murder, Provost said she will likely have different feelings.

“I would have a problem with that,” she said. “That is a child.”

Police noted that the investigation is still ongoing at this time. Anyone with information has been asked to call Fulton Police at 598-4504 or 593-TIPS (8477).