ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - After more than a week of testimony, a St. Johns County jury is deliberating whether a man is guilty of killing his wife in order to collect on a $2 million life insurance policy.
Closing arguments were delivered Wednesday morning in the first-degree murder trial of Justin Barber. His wife was shot to death in 2002 on the beach at Guana State Park.
Barber maintains they were both confronted and shot by a gunman. Prosecutors said Barber killed his wife, then shot himself so it appeared the couple was attacked.
In its closing, prosecution attorneys focused on the blood evidence, telling the jury there is no evidence of a third-party at the crime scene, saying "the phantom does not exist."
Assistance prosecutor Matt Foxman said Barber lied that April Barber drank heavily the night of her murder -- an autopsy found her blood alcohol was .00 -- and his initial denials of having extramarital affairs.
The defense told the jury that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt, saying a mysterious car seen by the tourists must have belonged to the real killer.
The jury deliberated until 9 p.m. Wednesday, then was sequestered overnight. They are expected back in the jury room at 9 a.m. Thursday.
- June 20, 2006: Expert Testifies Evidence Consistent With Man's Story Of Wife's Death; Defense Rests
- June 19, 2006: Defense Argues Husband Was Victim, Not Killer
- June 16, 2006: Prosecution Rests In Husband's Murder Trial
- June 14, 2006: 'Used To Love Her' Download Played For Jury In Husband's Murder Trial
- June 14, 2006: Jury Sees Video Reenactment Of Fatal Shooting
- June 12, 2006: Opening Statements, Testimony Begin In Husband's Murder Case
- June 12, 2006: Man On Trial For Killing Wife On St. Johns Beach
- June 8, 2006: Jury Selection Complete; Husband's Murder Trial To Begin
- June 6, 2006: St. Johns Man Charged With Wife's Murder Prepares For Trial
- July 12, 2004: Husband Arrested In Deadly Guana River Shooting
- April 9, 2004: Police Find Possible Clues in 2002 Murder
- August 19, 2002: Police Have Few Clues In Double Shooting At Beach
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