Tracy Norman Brant, 36, received a 25-year sentence Tuesday, Sept. 10 for second degree murder. The Breckenridge, Minnesota, man was charged with killing his toddler son.
Korey Rosales was among the people wearing “Justice 4 Winter Barker” sweatshirts in Wilkin County District Court. Rosales is mother of Winter Sky Barker, who was 3 years old when he died on April 10, 2018.
“He was a good baby. He was my baby,” Rosales said while giving a victim impact statement. “He was a special kid. I had plans for him to be a ballplayer.”
Korey Rosales will never see her son grab, dribble or pass a basketball again, she said. She will never feel his little arms or his head resting against her body. She has tried to accept that she will never get all the answers she needs.
“I hope the next 25 years are the worst day of your life,” Rosales told Brant. “I could never forgive you. I can never find that peace in my heart.”
Brant’s sentence calls for at least 200 months to be served in prison, with 100 months to be served under supervised release if he commits no crime and exhibits good behavior. Brant received credit for 519 days served in Wilkin County Jail since April 2018.
Judge Charles Glasrud placed Brant under a sentence stronger than the guidelines for second degree murder. Glasrud cited the facts that Barker was particularly vulnerable.
Barker was found dead in his home on April 10, 2018, Daily News previously reported. The medical examiner found the cause of death to be chemical peritonitis from perforation of the stomach due to blunt force trauma and the manner of death was listed as a homicide.
Judge Glasrud also noted that Barker was in the presence of his siblings when he died and that a violation of Barker’s zone of privacy occurred.
Brant declined to address the court. Rita Finley, Barker’s grandmother, wrote a victim impact statement that was also shared in court.
“Words cannot describe what this has done for our family,” Rita Finley wrote. “We will never get to experience Winter’s first day of school, his first day of playing football or basketball, or going to prom.”
Brant was initially charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, first degree manslaughter, second degree manslaughter, third degree assault of a victim under 4 and malicious punishment of a child.
As part of Brant’s plea deal, all charges except second degree murder were dismissed. The agreement called for Brant to serve the aggravated sentence.
In most cases, a second degree murder charge carries the penalty of 180 months without an aggravating factor. Barker’s youth and vulnerability raised the sentence to 300 months.
The “Justice 4 Winter Barker” shirts included a link to a photo of Barker and Korey Rosales. It includes the message “Native Lives Matter.”
Brant was represented by Steve Bergen. The prosecutors are Carl Thunem, Wilkin County attorney and David Miller, assistant attorney general for the state of Minnesota.