Jorge Barahona incompetent to stand trial, judge rules

Man charged in 2011 murder of adopted daughter, abuse of her twin brother
Posted at 12:03 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 19:00:56-05

MIAMI — More than 13 years after a 10-year-old girl was killed and her twin brother was found badly burned by chemicals in a truck on the side of a South Florida highway, their adoptive father has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Jorge Barahona, 56, was adjudicated incompetent by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Andrea Wolfson during a brief hearing Friday morning.

Wolfson's ruling came after two doctors who evaluated Barahona determined he "meets criteria for involuntary hospitalization."

Jorge Barahona in handcuffs and shackles in 2011
Jorge Barahona sits handcuffed and wearing chains on his ankles in a Miami-Dade County courtroom Monday, March 28, 2011.

"The defendant is not to be released from the hospital" until he's restored to competency, at which time he is to be transferred to the custody of county corrections officers, Wolfson said.

Victor and Nubia Barahona were 10 years old when they were discovered on Valentine's Day 2011 awash in chemicals in their adoptive father's truck on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach. Nubia was dead, her body wrapped in plastic in the bed of the truck. Victor was barely conscious and convulsing in the front passenger seat.

Nubia Barahona
The body of Nubia Barahona was found on Valentine's Day 2011, soaked with chemicals in the back of her father's truck along Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach.

Jorge Barahona and his wife were indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

Carmen Barahona pleaded guilty in 2020 as part of a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to testify against her husband. In exchange for her testimony, she was spared the death penalty. Her agreed-upon life sentence was deferred until her cooperation with prosecutors had been fulfilled.

The Barahonas had faced separate trials in Miami-Dade County, where authorities said the twins were abused and tortured for years despite numerous complaints to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Jorge Barahona faced the death penalty if convicted at trial.