Murderer Or Victim? Jury Deliberates Justin Barber Case

Published On: Oct 14 2011 02:31:47 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 22 2006 08:40:59 AM EDT

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.

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