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Grieving mom wants answers as sentencing looms for Sahara Barkley’s killer

Tairrah McGriff found guilty of manslaughter in death of 26-year-old Jacksonville woman

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman is expected to be sentenced soon in the murder of 26-year-old Sahara Barkley.

Barkley was shot and killed at a gas station on New Year’s Day in 2018.

A jury found Tairrah McGriff guilty of manslaughter earlier this year.

A jury convicted Tairrah McGriff of manslaughter.
A jury convicted Tairrah McGriff of manslaughter.

Surveillance video showed Barkley inside the BP gas station moments before she was shot in the chest. Arrest warrants show it happened right after her car was stolen from station’s lot. She had just confronted her killer, later identified as McGriff, who arrived at the gas station with the man who drove off in Barkley’s car.

After a long and painful year of reliving her daughter’s death in court, Barkley’s mother, Rosie Brooks-White, spoke to News4Jax.

She said she never thought lighting fireworks for New Year’s would be the last time she would see her daughter.

“[Sahara] said, 'I will see you tomorrow, mom,’ and tomorrow for my baby hasn’t came yet,” Brooks-White said. “I really want to know, why did you have to shoot her? Why?”

Brooks-White said she’s hoping to start the new year off in 2020 with closure and justice for her daughter.

For now, she’s waiting on the court to set a sentencing date for McGriff. Brooks-White and several members of their extended family plan to be at the sentencing hearing.

McGriff’s attorney has already filed a motion for a new trial. Her attorney alleges the court made a mistake and that the verdict was contrary to law and the weight of the evidence.


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