JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of Lonzie Barton has been assigned to the panhandle prison recommended by her lawyer.
Anthony Blackburn, Lonna Barton's attorney in her Baker County case, sent a letter April 6 to the director of placement at the Department of Corrections. In it, he recommended Barton be assigned to the Gadsden Correctional Institute in Quincy, Florida, or placed in a unit that does not house violent offenders.
"In my opinion, if Ms. Barton receives assistance with her addiction issues, upon her release she can be a very productive citizen," Blackburn wrote.
He got his wish. Barton was assigned to Gadsden Correctional, a medium-security facility that was opened in 1995 as a privately run prison by a company that contracts with DOC.
Blackburn argued that because she was not convicted of a violent crime and does not have a lengthy criminal record, she should not be kept with violent offenders.
Barton is currently serving a five-year sentence for charges of child neglect and lying to police in Duval County. She pleaded guilty to those charges in January.
Barton also pleaded guilty in Baker County to four second-degree felony drug charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison, which will begin after she finishes her Duval County sentence.
Barton's son, Lonzie, was reported missing last July by Ruben Ebron, who told police that his car had been stolen with the 21-month-old inside.
Police found the toddler’s remains in January after Ebron led them to a wooded area on Jacksonville’s Southside where he had hidden him.
Ebron later admitted that Lonzie drowned in a bathtub while he was having sex with Barton.
Ebron is serving a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter and other charges in Lonzie's death.