Jacksonville analyst convicted of killing wife at state park

Sunday, June 25th 2006, 5:57 pm
By: News On 6

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) _ A north Florida man who grew up in Oklahoma faces a death sentence or life in prison for gunning down his wife on a beach, then making up a story about a botched robbery.

Justin Barber, a business analyst from Jacksonville, was convicted yesterday of shooting his 27-year-old wife, April Barber, at Guana River State Park in Florida in August 2002.

April Barber grew up in Hennessey, Oklahoma, while 34-year-old Justin Barber grew up in Wetumka.

A jury will give its sentencing recommendation to Circuit Judge Edward E. Hedstrom, who will make the final decision on Justin Barber's fate.

Barber told deputies he and his wife were shot during a late-night robbery on the beach. She was found dead with a single .22-caliber gunshot wound to her cheek and investigators said Barber suffered four slight wounds.

Prosecutors said Barber killed his wife to collect on a life insurance policy worth more than 2.1million dollars. They said Barber was facing mounting debt and his wife's allegations of infidelity.