By Lindy Thackston
First Coast News
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FL -- The man who drew national attention after the death of his wife is speaking out as he sits behind bars in St. Johns County.
Last month, a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife.
April Barber was killed on the beaches of the Guana River State Park in 2002.
Justin claimed they were robbed.
After four days of deliberations, a jury sided with the prosecution.
Barber says he fully believed he would leave the courtroom a free man.
"It was an extreme shock to say the least when uh, when I knew the verdict was going to be guilty," said Barber. "And I knew when the court clerk was handed the verdict what the verdict was, because she choked up and I knew that she was upset and I knew at that point that it was going to be a guilty verdict."
Barber talked about what he loved about April.
"She had a purpose in life that uh, really impressed me and I can't think of, of any part of her that uh, I didn't love."
Barber also talked about April's family.
"It hurts to know that they believe that I would do that to April."
Barber says, the jury's death penalty recommendation is irrelevant to him.
"Life in prison without parole or the death penalty does not matter to me at all. What matters to me was that verdict and the verdict was wrong. And to have my family get on the stand and beg for my life in a crime I didn't commit is just something that I would never even consider."
Behind the walls of the jail, Barber said he and April wanted the same things in life, that they both loved family, and that he is guilty of having affairs, but is not guilty of murder.
The jury recommended death in an 8-4 vote.
The judge will have the ultimate say. That's expected in the next couple weeks.
Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Justin Barber
Prosecution Rests in Barber Murder Trial
First Coast News