Suspect appears in court |

Suspect appears in court

George James Bariames glanced once at the family of his dead wife before entering Tahoe Township Justice Court in shackles.

The 36-year-old did not say a word. He let his attorney, Derrick Lopez, speak during a short hearing. Bariames’ preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Bariames was taken into custody on Sept. 21 on charges of child abuse and neglect after Douglas County sheriff’s deputies found Bariames’ wife, Debbie, dead on their living room floor. An autopsy did not disclose a reason for her death. Authorities are awaiting toxicology and other test results. The finished toxicology report will likely arrive in a month.

Nicholas, the Bariames’ 10-month-old son, was found malnourished and neglected next to his mother’s body. He was released from UC Davis Medical Center on Sept. 26.

A hearing on the custody status of Nicholas will be Oct. 7. The child is being held with Child Protective Services.

Generally, there is a short, closed hearing 72 hours after a child is placed in protective custody. The hearing determines whether there is enough evidence to keep the child in state care. Afterward, there is a private hearing that decides, among a variety of options, where the child will stay. Some of the options include family, continued state care or a foster home.

Debbie Bariames’ mother, aunt and best friend were present for Tuesday’s hearing. They expected something more substantial than Bariames’ short court appearance.

Frustration washed over the three when they saw Bariames’ belly and his healthy appearance because it was in direct contrast to how his son was found. Friend Tina Snider said they saw about 50 unopened baby food containers inside the couple’s apartment on Market Street in Stateline.

— Contact William Ferchland at

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