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Husband asks to be prosecuted for wife's crime
By Associated Press, 6/25/2003
RAVENNA, Ohio -- A husband thinks he should be prosecuted for his wife's failure to stop driving while she breastfed their baby on the Ohio Turnpike.
Catherine Nicole Donkers, 29, of suburban Pittsburgh, is to go on trial Aug. 6 on misdemeanor charges of child endangering, failure to comply with the order of a police officer and several other driving infractions.
Her husband, Brad L. Barnhill, said he wants to be tried instead, citing religious beliefs.
"I'm responsible for what she does, and no one can punish her except me," said Barnhill, 46, a minister in the First Christian Fellowship for Eternal Sovereignty, an organization founded by Christopher Hansen of Henderson, Nev., in the late 1990s.
"That's a fantasy," prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci said Tuesday. "I've never heard such a thing."
The couple has not yet hired an attorney, according to court records.
A truck driver called 911 on May 8 to report that he had seen a woman driving her car with a baby in her lap.
Asked why his wife did not stop to nurse the child, Barnhill said she didn't want to turn "a five-hour trip to Michigan into a seven-hour trip."
A conviction for misdemeanor child endangering carries maximum penalties of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.