Westminster man arrested, accused of murdering 2-year-old

Posted at 3:01 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 21:39:36-05

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A week after the death of a 2-year-old police in Westminster arrested a man in connection with the case.

According to Westminster Police, they received reports of a 2-year-old girl not breathing on Jan. 26. Emergency responders rushed the child to a hospital, where doctors placed her on life support.

Despite medical treatment, after being taken off life support, the girl succumbed to her injuries, which police say were "significant," and died.

Investigation led police to arrest Joseph Barela and charge him with first-degree murder. 

Police say they haven't closed their investigation and will release additional details as the case continues. 

Barela's rap sheet goes back 10 years 

Barela has had several run-ins with police starting in early 2007.

In April of 2007, Barela pleaded guilty to a restraining order violation in the area of West Rutgers Place and South Quitman Street. Two months later, he was arrested for threats to person and property at the same home. All charges were dismissed.

In January of 2008, a Nicole Lopez filed a protection order against him. 

In May of 2014, Barela was arrested on allegations of domestic violence, this time in the area of West Jewell Avenue and South Zuni Street. 

About a year later, in June of 2015, he was arrested again on charges of domestic violence by Denver police at the same address. Barela pleaded guilty to assault, disturbing the peace and destruction of property. Two months later, the DPD arrested him for domestic violence offenses in the area of West Jewell Avenue and South Vallejo Street. He pleaded guilty to violation of a court order and threat to person or property. Also in August, he was arrested by DPD on weapons possession charges by a previous offender. He plead guilty to that charge.

In July of 2016, DPD arrested him for disturbing the peace in the area of Morrison Road and West Mississippi Avenue. He pleaded guilty to the charges and spent 30 days in jail and received a sentence of 12 months probation. Four months later, there was a protection order filed in Littleton by a Cheris Garcia against Barela.


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