Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Rebecca Barker, Double Black Widow – Texas, 2014

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Cherokee County, Tx (KLTV) - Authorities have identified the woman accused of shooting and killing her 76-year-old husband on Wednesday in Cherokee County.

52-year-old Rebecca Barker is charged with first degree murder and is being held on $500,000 bond.

According to Barker's arrest affidavit, when deputies arrived on the scene, they attempted to read her her rights. As her rights were being read, Barker kept repeating, "I don't know." She was then taken to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office for questioning.

During questioning, Barker said that her husband had been verbally abusing her all day. She went on to say she couldn't take it anymore, so she shot him with a .357 Magnum.

The victim, identified as Jerry Barker by his son, suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. His son, Jerry Michael Barker, said that Rebecca kept some of them at arm's length.

"She kind of kept us away. 'You come on our property and we will shoot you.' That's pretty drastic," he said.

This isn't the first time Rebecca Barker has faced charges for shooting her husband.
Documents in the Liberty County District Clerk's office show Rebecca Barker, then Rebecca Lynn Osborne, was indicted for the attempted murder of her then-husband, John Osborne, in September 1996.

Rebecca Barker shot Osborne with a firearm in April 15, 1996, according to the paperwork, and a restraining order was filed the next day.

Rebecca Barker accepted a plea deal in that case and was sentenced to 180 days in jail with time served, paid a fine and received deferred adjudication.

"She's still on the street married to my father and I'd like to know, and law enforcement to explain how that could happen," said Jerry Michael Barker of his stepmother's previous criminal history.

"If she were to get away with this, she would probably go to the next city and do it again," Jerry Michael said.

A few weeks ago, the family became suspicious of the victim’s behavior and called Cherokee County Sheriff's Office to look into it.

"My dad was in excellent shape. I showed up one day with my grand babies and we visited with him. He was good and strong," said the victim's son, Gary.

But then...

"My dad turned to the worst. Shaking like a rag, like he had some type of Parkinson's disease. He had all of the wrong medicines in his system, not functional and couldn't think for himself. She was running the show," Gary added.

That's when they asked for help. "Please pull my father from this. Pull him away and do an evaluation to where it's safe to be back around these people. I believe that this lady could probably murder my father," Gary said he told authorities.

However, the sheriff says, as far as his department could tell, Jerry Barker was all right.
"We had been called to the house and to the store in Dialville. But he was evaluated and was released," Sheriff James Campbell said.

Now, a day after his father's death, Jerry Michael Barker says his premonition about Rebecca was right. "I believe that this lady could murder my father. Well...she did murder my father."

In October of 2013, Jerry Barker gave power of attorney to his wife Rebecca Barker and Tammy Reil, who is not a relative of the family. With that in place, the victim's sons do not have access to the family home, assets or the ability to make funeral arrangements.

[“Victim's sons say they feared Rebecca Barker would harm their father,” KLTV (Tyler, Tx.), Feb. 27, 2014]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Cherokee County, Tx (KLTV) - We've learned more about an East Texas woman who allegedly shot two of her husbands. Rebecca Barker, 52, is charged with first degree murder for killing her husband, Jerry Barker, in February.

Police said Mrs. Barker shot her husband inside their Cherokee County home. Reports showed that Rebecca Barker was also charged with shooting her ex-husband, John Osborne, in Liberty County in 1996. That husband survived.

We've been looking into Rebecca Barker's past and spoke with the lead detective on that 1996 case who said he thought he'd heard the last of Rebecca Barker.

Even though it happened nearly 18 years ago, Liberty County investigator Ivan Pearce still remembers what he thought when Rebecca Barker, formerly Rebecca Osborne, shot her ex-husband several times.

"I remember, I think, one of the bullets went through the back of the recliner, the back of his neck, and out his jaw. That's the one that really sticks out in my mind," Pearce said. "It was really a miracle he lived through it."

It was late at night, he told us.

"The shooter was outside shooting in," he explained. And her ex-husband was "sitting in the recliner in the living room area."

Cherokee County investigators say Jerry Barker was also found in the living room. That shooting left Jerry Barker's sons wondering why Rebecca hadn't been locked up longer. Pearce said the first victim, John Osborne, was adamant that she not go to jail.

"After she got indicted Mr. Osborne did not want her to go to prison. He wanted her prosecuted, but he did not want her to go to prison," he said. "I just think he wanted her to get some help and he didn't want her to go to prison."

Help, he said, for alcohol abuse.

"She did have to do 6 months in jail and, I think, she was ordered to go to anger management, drug and alcohol treatment and psychological counseling."

She violated that probation in 2004. What caused her to shoot her first husband Pearce isn't quite sure, but he said they were separated and had marital problems.

"I was surprised somebody would do this, but, you know, you don't know what goes through people's minds," he said.

And he's surprised all over again.

Ivan Pearce also said he remembers there was a daughter at the home at the time in 1996 when Rebecca shot her ex-husband.

Rebecca Barker is being held on $500,000 dollars bond in the Cherokee County jail.

[“Man who investigated Rebecca Barker's shooting of first husband 'surprised all over again’.” CBS 46 (Atlanta, Ga.), May 12, 2014]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Update: Rusk, Tx. (KYTX) – A Cherokee County jury has sentenced Rebecca Barker to life in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

Barker who was convicted of shooting and killing her husband had nothing to say when the sentence was handed down Friday [Nov. 14] morning.

The jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before reaching a decision.

Both sides have rested in the sentencing trial for convicted murderer Rebecca Barker.

She pleaded guilty last month to shooting and killing her husband back in February.

The prosecution opened day two with more than an hour of police interrogation interviews with Barker, taken in the days following her arrest for killing her 76-year-old husband, Jerry.

Barker broke down in the courtroom as she watched the video -- in which she admits to the murder -- telling police he quote "pushed me to my limit."

The defense spent the day seemingly hoping to paint Barker as an abused wife who made a bad decision when she pulled that trigger.

Barker's friend, Shevie Poston testified that she saw her with black eyes about a month before Jerry's murder, but the State argued against that claim.

Other witnesses, though, testified that they never saw any signs of trouble between the couple.

And several witnesses testified about an accident Jerry apparently had years ago that plagued him until his death, leaving him physically unable to lift his arms, perhaps planting some doubt in the juror's minds about those abuse allegations.

The sentencing trial continues Friday, and the jury is expected to hear closing arguments.
Barker could spend the rest of her life in prison.

[Dave Goldman, “Update: Life in prison for Cherokee Co. woman convicted of killing her husband.” CBS 19, Nov. 14, 2014]


1996 – John Osborne, dies. Shot.
Sep. 1996 – Rebecca Lynn Osborne, was indicted for the attempted murder of her then-husband, John Osborne.
Feb. 26, 2014 – Jerry Barker (76), dies. Shot.
Feb. 27, 2014 – She was arraigned and is currently incarcerated in the Cherokee County Jail on a $500,000 bond set by Cherokee County Pct. 1 Judge Brenda Dominy.
Nov. 14, 2014 – Convicted A Cherokee County jury has sentenced Rebecca Barker to life in prison, and a $10,000 fine.




For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.


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