Competency question brings court hearing to a halt |

Competency question brings court hearing to a halt

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

A motion filed by the attorney for a Stateline man who allegedly allowed his wife to lie dead and his son to starve for several days questioned the man’s competency in court.

The motion ended a Tuesday preliminary hearing before it started.

Derrick Lopez would not comment on why he felt compelled to file the motion, citing attorney-client privilege, after the appearance in Tahoe Township Justice Court.

George Bariames, 36, is scheduled to appear before Judge Michael Gibbons in Minden’s Douglas County District Court on Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. If Gibbons grants the motion, Bariames will be evaluated by a medical examiner regarding his mental condition. If the motion is denied, a preliminary hearing will be rescheduled and held at Tahoe Township Justice Court at Stateline.

Bariames appeared in court with a shaved head and blue jail garb. His father, Tom, sat in the audience as well as his former mother-in-law and his deceased wife’s best friend.

Bariames answered two of Judge Richard Glasson’s questions before being led back to Douglas County Jail, where he was being held on $500,000 bail.

Bariames was arrested Sept. 21 on charges of child abuse and neglect after Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, responding to a welfare check request, found Bariames’ 10-month-old son near death and his wife lying dead on the living room floor. The infant was airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center where he was subsequently released to Nevada’s division of Child Protective Services.

An autopsy couldn’t determine the cause of Debbie Bariames’ death. Authorities are awaiting toxicology and other reports to get the answer.

On Sept. 23, Bariames was taken by ambulance to Carson Tahoe Hospital when he faked a seizure before an arraignment hearing. He was arraigned the next day in Minden without incident.

Tina Snider, Debbie Bariames’ best friend, flew from Las Vegas with Bariames’ mother to attend Tuesday’s preliminary hearing and a closed custody hearing on Nicholas on Monday.

Snider expects Bariames’ mother to get custody of the infant. Tom Bariames, the defendant’s father, most likely could not properly care for the child because of his age, according to authorities.

About a week ago, Snider helped make arrangements to have Debbie Bariames buried in a Minden cemetery.

Frustrated by the failed preliminary hearing, still saddened by the loss of her friend and concerned about the future of the child, Snider looked tired and irritated before she left with Debbie Bariames’ mother in a silver rental car for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

— Contact William Ferchland at

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