Indiana Couple Charged After Video Uncovered Showing Baby Playing With Gun

Michael Barnes, 19, was arrested last week after allegedly trying to sell a gun to an undercover officer

Police searching the cellphone of an Indiana man arrested for trying to sell a handgun to an undercover officer last week said they found video of a toddler putting a gun in his mouth.

In the video, 19-year-old Michael Barnes can be heard telling the 12-month-old boy to say "pow" on multiple occasions while the child plays with the gun, according to a police statement. Authorities didn't say if the gun was loaded.

"At no point does Barnes try to stop the child from playing with the gun," police said in a statement.

Evansville Police Department
Toni Wilson and Michael Barnes

Barnes was wanted for armed robbery when he was arrested Thursday near an elementary school in Evansville, Indiana attempting to sell a handgun to an undercover officer, police said. He was arrested and charged with resisting law enforcement with a weapon, carrying a handgun without a permit and carrying a handgun without a permit within 500 feet of a school, police said.

Once investigators found the video of the child playing with the gun, Barnes was charged with child neglect, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and allowing a child to possess a firearm, police said.

The baby's mother, 22-year-old Toni Wilson, was also brought up on the same charges after police said they determined that she was present while the videos were being recorded. When confronted about the video, she claimed it was a pellet gun, police said.

The couple's 1-month-old twins were removed from the home and placed in emergency care, along with the 1-year-old in the video. Barnes is the father of the twins, but not the older baby boy, police said.

Authorities said the handgun in the video appears to be the same one found on Barnes when he was arrested.

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