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Convicted Murderer Speaks From Inside Jail

8:46 PM, Jul 7, 2006   |    comments
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By Jessica Clark First Coast News ST. AUGUSTINE, FL -- Jurors only heard Justin Barber in court talk via video and audio tape. Now he's talking from jail. He’s commenting on topics the jury may have wanted to hear him talk about. Last month, a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife. Last week, a jury convicted Barber of killing his wife April on the beaches of the Guana River State Park in 2002. However, Justin has always maintained a robber attacked him and his wife and shot them both. Barber drove 10 miles for help, leaving his wife on the beach. From inside the St. Johns County Jail, Barber talked about that drive. He said, "Well, when you're driving as fast as you can, looking for somebody that will help you, I think that, uh, that time passed pretty quickly, Barber said. Prosecutors pointed to his affairs as a motive to kill April. While Barber says he did commit adultery, his defense attorney says it wasn't a motive for murder. In jail, Barber said, "I'm not going to try to justify that behavior in any way at all. I made mistakes and there's nothing I can do now that will ever rectify that situation at all." In a video taped deposition from 2003, Barber described his marriage to April as normal. In jail after the trial, Barber said, "We wanted the same thing. She was deeply rooted in family and I'm very, very close to my family as well." First Coast News has obtained a portion of the St. Johns County Sheriff's criminal investigation into the Barber case. In it, affidavits from April's friends and family claim she was unhappy with Justin. They say April told them the couple often fought and that she was going to divorce him. Two of April's friends and co-workers also write that April told them if anything happened to her, they should suspect "foul play" and have "Justin investigated." From inside jail, Barber says there's nothing he can say to April's family now. "I can't, I can't confess to a crime I didn't commit," Barber said. "I can't convince them that I'm innocent because they don't want to hear that and that's not what they need to hear." While the jury recommended the death penalty in an eight to four vote, a judge still needs to determine if Justin will be put to death or live the rest of his life in prison without parole.

First Coast News

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