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April Barber murder 8/18/2002 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL *Husband, Justin Barber, convicted of her murder; sentenced to LWOP*

DVawareness


April Barber

Secrets in the Sand
Murder in the Moonlight
The Barber Case
Justin Barber Murder Case in St. Johns County Reopened
Police Blotter: Google searches lead to murder conviction
Prosecution Rests in Barber Murder Trial
Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Justin Barber
Lawyer scolds jury; client gets death
Unhappy Anniversary
Convicted Murderer Asks Judge For New Trial (has several links to other stories)

Books
To Love, Honor, and Kill
Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives

Movies/Documentaries
Forensic Files: Season 13 Episode 1
Secrets in the Sand
The Investigators: Soundtrack for Murder
Deadly Affairs: Achilles Heel

INMATE INFORMATION


DC Number: V25914
Name: BARBER, JUSTIN M
Race: WHITE
Sex: MALE
Hair Color: BLONDE OR STRAWBERRY
Eye Color: BLUE
Height: 5’09”
Weight: 160 lbs.
Birth Date: 03/02/1972
Initial Receipt Date: 10/23/2006
Current Facility: CENTURY C.I.
Current Custody: CLOSE
Current Release Date: SENTENCED TO LIFE
Aliases:
JUSTIN M BARBER JUSTIN MERTIS BARBER

Scars, Marks, and Tattoos:
Type Location Description
TATTOO LEFT SHOULDER LT HIP OU RT HIP BULL

Current Prison Sentence History:
Offense Date Offense Sentence Date County Case No. Prison Sentence Length
08/17/2002 1ST DG MUR/PREMED. OR ATT. 09/15/2006 ST. JOHNS 0401748 SENTENCED TO LIFE

Note: The offense descriptions are truncated and do not necessarily reflect the crime of conviction. Please refer to the court documents or the Florida Statutes for further information or definition.

Incarceration History:
Date In-Custody Date Out-of-Custody
10/23/2006 Currently Incarcerated

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54 Responses

  1. What a murderous pig Justine is……hope he suffers at least as much as April did.

  2. i cant believe he even made it to jail. i hope they catch the real killer .. then everyone will wish they had believed him..
    then both families can finally be at peace.

    • If he is not guilty–then explain the internet searches on gun shoot wounds, prior to the murder and how can someone who is dead, be foaming at the mouth, and look at the crime scene a person who was worried about another person would not leave them the way he did, look at how he left her legs it looks like she tried to get up and then he shot her……..

  3. i hope the truth comes out if he really did it i hope it admits it. but if he really didnt i hope they get the real killer

  4. HE is GULITY as snott. He wanted the insurance money and thought he was smart enough to not get caught. Well, guess what ????? HE GOT CAUGHT :-) and I hope they throw the book at him (literally) and kick his shiny hiny while his is in there.
    She was a beautiful woman and he didn’t deserve having her as his wife..

  5. I believe Justin is guilty. There was just too much circumstantial evidence indicating guilt. I think Justin wanted out of the marriage and wanted to have the life insurance money to start over. Now….he gets to start over in prison.

  6. I hope this creep gets ass-raped on a daily basis while he does his time. The judge should have taken the jury’s recommendation and sentenced him to death.

  7. LOL Im w/ you dinboca…..what a waste he is…well, maybe “bubba” doesn’t think so :)
    however
    seems as though there’s some blind, co-dependants on this site…uhm…sally and cindy
    wake up girls!!

  8. Justin is a real creep with millions more men in the US just like this asshole. I have spoken to April’s sister, Julie, on the phone personally. Please visit our website at http://www.firstokdvwalk.org. Justin is not a bad looking guy. I’m sure that Bubba, Otto, and Roscoe in a Florida prison has had a taste of his “rosebud.” They will not let a good looking young man like that get by, first killing his wife, and now having to answer to male sex organs. Maybe he will contract HIV thus getting the death penalty in a different way.

  9. I watched this program and am so very angry that society allows such carnage and calls it ‘domestic violence’. Justin Barber is obviously guilty of this heinous crime . . . he could not even fake sincerity. I know that what goes around comes around. I pray that he gets his just ‘reward’ for the rest of his pathetic life.

  10. Justin may or may not have killed his wife; however, i don’t think the state proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore he never should have been convicted. Part of me wonders if he is innocent. No one ever said he was a stand-up guy, but that doesn’t make him a killer.

  11. Of course he’s guilty. Too many obvious and convenient lies. Too much unearthed evidence of premeditation. As a society we don’t like to believe blonde-haired, blue-eyed, handsome, educated, god-fearing white men would ever do such a thing. But how much clear evidence does one need to convict an obvious cold-blooded, calculating murderer? I hop that he succeeds in his appeal for a new trial, because if he does I can guarantee you that the jury will reach its decision to convict this slimeball much quicker, and that the judge will not override a jury’s second recommendation for the death penalty.

  12. I personally knew April and her best friend Amber. I met both of them my freshman year at OSU. Everything you have heard about April and Amber are correct and not biased at all. I was shocked to hear about April’s murder in the paper, magazine and national news/shows. I have pictures of April and I together through out college from sorority rush to being a lil’ sis to a fraternity. I remember how hard it was for her to leave her younger siblings during the week to attend college after her Mother’s death. It breaks my heart how much April’s family has gone thru. April was a true Christian in all aspects of her life. I can’t believe anyone would think that Justin is not guilty based on the all the evidence. Justin takes out insurance policy on April before murder, searches the web on how to shoot himself without killing himself and then doesn’t find medical treatment within a reasonable time and distance for his wife….are you kidding me.

  13. I just watched on tv again “murder in the moonlight”…..I had forgotten what the verdict actually ended up being….but watching Justin the second time around….what a horrible actor this man is….He did a heinous thing, he murdered his wife in cold blood….If you get a chance to see this special on this jerk, watch how much his eyes flutter….such a liar and a horrible one at that….His wife was a beautiful person inside and out….

  14. Grief shows itself in many many forms. I may react or not react to a situation differently than many and possibly the same as many. What should the man have done to prove his innocence? Blubbered like a baby? Then the consensus would have been he was trying too hard to prove he loved her or trying to fake it until he made it. Too few tears proves guilt? Too many tears proves insincerity thus= guilt? He didnt stand a chance either way. TRUTH will prevail even if in an untimely manner. Hold tight people. I agree his unfaithfulness makes him a BAD husband BUT being a bad husband does not make one a murderer. Who the hell could ever shoot themselves “superficially” or “seriously” 4 times? Thats crazy to even believe anyone would consider. PERIOD!!!!!! Money wouldnt persuade one to put a bullet into their own body. I dont care who you are, even a pellet at close range hurts like hell. Hide and watch the REAL story will emerge and Justin “the horrible” will be exonerated.

    • I’m afraid there will be no exoneration in this case. While I agree with you that people watch closely and judge the demeanor of the defendant, there’s really no solution to that. We can’t stop charging alleged killers just because they might not “get a fair shake” on how their grief/demeanor is viewed. As for no one ever willingly putting 4 bullets into themselves to set up their defense, well, that also depends upon the person. You would not do it, you made that clear. However, we can’t answer for the entire human race. People do some pretty wacky things to stage crimes. After all, it isn’t such a preposterous notion considering that he did searches on his computer for which areas of the body a person can be shot, and not sustain non- life threatening injuries, and then he just happened to sustain his 4 bullet wounds in those non-life threatening areas of the body. Put the pieces together and it’s really pretty damning after all.

  15. Here is my position concerning Justin Barber. I have read all about the case as well as watching it on 48 hours. My gut feeling is that he is probably guilty of murdering April.
    However, there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt of such. The evidence was just not strong enough to send him to prison for the rest of his life. So he was the beneficiary of a life insurance policy on April’s life. Most couples have life insurance policies making one another at least one of the beneficiaries. That’s nothing suspicious or out of the ordinary.
    He ran and drove all over the place before getting help after April was shot. Suspicious maybe, but not conclusively incriminating. There are other plausible explanations. Maybe he was completely panicking and the trauma of his wife just being shot and laying unconscious on the beach impaired him from being able to think rationally for a few moments. Not illogical. If my wife had been suddenly shot and laying unconscious I would have probably been the same way.
    Now I do have to say that the particular internet searches he made prior to the whole matter were pretty suspicious. Still, they do not elevate to the level of a smoking gun since he searched the internet as extensively as he did. It was brought out during his trial that within like six months of that time frame he made roughly 22000 searches. So this was a person who was on the internet a lot.
    Once again, my gut instincts are that he probably committed the crime, but our justice system can not send people to prison for decades or send someone to death row based on gut instincts and circumstantial evidence. There must be substantial air tight proof. In the Justin Barber case such clearly did not exist.

    • You make good arguments. The only thing I disagree with is that his computer search is not a smoking gun because he had a habit of doing extensive computer searches. While that may be true that he searched the computer a lot, it’s not like a person who does thousands of searches just happens to stumble upon the damning sites and searches that just happened to line up with situations in this very crime. No matter how much you surf the net, it’s unlikely you would ever just accidentally land on a site that teaches how to sustain non-fatal injuries in gun shot incidents.

  16. Who has a 2 million dollar life insurance policy at the young age of 26? He is sooooo guilty!

    • Me! When you work for a relatively successful company, you are offered life insurance policies that provide compensation relative to your annual income. Life insurance payouts are not relative to motives for murder but more so, an individuals prospective lifetime earnings.

  17. Keep in mind in cases like this it’s very common the husband or wife killed the other. It happens everyday.

  18. I watched murder in the moonlight for the first time last night. Didnt even remember hearing about this case when it happened back in 02, Anyhow this guy is 100% GUILTY. How could this judge go against the jury & not give him the death penalty! I think b/c he didnt have the “look” of a killer he gave him a life sentence instead! This is so very commonplace these days- The list is endless of murderous husbands committing these horrible crimes! Women- please choose your mates Very carefully..

    • Yep, Phil, very true about choosing your mate carefully. And it goes both ways. Men need to also choose their wives carefully. There are episodes galore of “Snapped” that all focus on murderous wives and girlfriends. Unfortunately it’s a crime all too often committed.

  19. Everyone on here who “knows” he is guilty is ridiculous. I have no idea, but what I do know is that there is a reasonable doubt that he didn’t do it. Clearly the jury thought this as well for a considerable time. He also DIDN’T need the money and he made 105,000 a year.

    • But, David, he was deeply in debt. And even making that salary, he was still stretched to thin to dig out of his debt. A 2 million dollar policy would surely aid him with his financial burdens. So this is called a “motive”

  20. I don’t think the murder weapon was ever found in this case? Given this, I believe the prosecution’s scenario of the defendant’s self-inflicted wounding less convincing than the claim that an unknown assailant committed the crime. The successful disposal of the murder weapon in the given circumstances introduces reasonable doubt.

  21. I don’t know what happened that night. I do know the prosecution really had no case. He should not have been found guilty n bc they did find him guilty he should have gotten a retrial

  22. You all are overlooking two of the most important things that aren’t elements of a crime, but are highly influential in determining the reasonable doubt in one’s guilt:
    MOTIVE AND OPPORTUNITY! Justin Barber lied to the police about his affairs w/other women. Now why would an innocent man who loved and missed his murdered wife lie to police about something like that? Because he was trying to HIDE HIS MOTIVE! This Justin Barber has got to be the dumbest SOB ever created! He fills himself full of bullets to try to create an alibi and GETS CONVICTED OF MURDER ANYWAY! He’s a terrible actor, too!

    • Nick-
      Every husband in the world has the opportunity …
      and usually a motive ;
      and no married man admits to an affair….
      Proves absolutely nothing.
      and only a complete schizophrenic could shoot himself more than once.

      • There are actually quite a few schizophrenic people out there!! However, I agree with your first three points about having opportunity, possibly even motive, and husbands do not readily admit to affairs. Nor do wives. People try to conceal affairs just because it makes them look immoral. No one wants to admit to that.

  23. I think the hardest thing to get past in this case is Justin was shot 4 times. Can you imagine the agony and extreme pain after only one shot? Then he shoots himself 3 more times? Hard to believe a person could do this. I think this creates reasonable doubt on it own.

    • I don’t see that introducing reasonable doubt whatsoever. Normal people would not shoot themselves, but most killers are anything but normal. And because killers will do anything to stage the scene, it’s actually plausible that he might shoot himself. Even 4 times.

  24. I think it was the Gun powder residue found on his hand and clothing that proved his guilt …(People don’t realize that it’s almost impossible to wash of the gunpowder residue)
    Oh ! never mind they never found any.–

    Well… The guy that sold him the gun came and identified him. right ?or no… never mind.
    Well they did find the gun he through out of the car , right? …well.. maybe not.–

    Well if you drag a body you would get blood on her blouse…Well ,I mean if your hand didn’t hurt ..because ,I guess if it hurt you would hold your hand out as not to put any pressure on it.
    Does any one think a bullet through the hand would hurt?—

    Ok, Well he needed the money! Because if he was only making $105,000 a year :that means if he paid $5,000 a year for 10 years, to pay it off ..He would have had to get by on ONLY $100,000. per year! …Well I guess MAYBE he could have managed?
    Oh well never mind… SHE made the LAST PAYMENT on the policy.—

    Well, What did the person who was driving the K car tell the police..
    After he saw it on the NEWS.. when he realized that he was there that night?
    or no he never came forward , did he?

    I heard a stupid theory that ,,
    SHE need the money from His life insurance policy..
    and SHE hired a hit on him.
    (Partly because she was enraged, when she found out he was cheating on her)
    and during the struggle, she was shot; unintentionally by the guy she hired;
    So the hit man took off and left Justin alive. Because he wasn’t going to get paid.
    —-

    That’s absolutely impossible. Right ?
    *I mean it’s VERY unlikely.
    Or, well I mean a pretty girl wouldn’t do that .
    off her husband just because he was screwing around on her …
    or I mean, no woman would want the $2,000,000 policy.
    I mean well aaaaa.

    ( What’s that saying about a woman’s scorn?)

    To Quote , Mark Twain.
    .”The only difference between writing fiction or writing Fact, is that..
    fiction has to be believable”

    {Why in the heck did he say that he only heard 1 shot… when any fool can count 5 shots?}
    It’s odd that .
    Sometimes ,You say what you remember…. and not what logic says happened.——

    Oh well, he was a young guy, making way more money than me!
    So maybe this will teach all those hot shots that us little people can dish out our own kind of justice!

  25. The only one little thing that kind of bothers me,
    is that I don’t remember hearing any evidence…

    I heard a pretty good story ,,,a fairly good theory…but I must have missed the evidence?
    –OH, Now I remember! he downloaded a song that had “I had to kill her ” words in it!
    Well thats good enough for me!
    Funny though. I only downloaded about 75 songs and one of them is-
    “I Shot the Sheriff.
    If I become a suspect in a shooting of a law enforcement officer….

    {Aaaa wait a minute, there is something I need to deleat Off my hard drive… be back in a while. }

    (Does any body know where I can get a secure delete program?)

  26. I have to say he was way smarter than me .The way he thought to pull his shirt around before he shot himself… Brilliant!
    {He knew he would be a suspect, and that someone would try to match the holes in his shirt to his wounds, and the miss-match would indicate someone was struggling with him .}

    Wow , I would have never conceived of that! Who would? mind boggling!
    I don’t think Einstein would have thought to do that!

    But silly evidence doesn’t matter anyway;
    after all… He screwed around on his wife!
    I say lock him up and through away the key!

    Oh thats right thats what happen to him … good riddance!
    —–

    I heard a couple of the Jurors (Not too bright) interviewed,
    of course, I am sure that there had to be at least 1 juror with an I.Q. over 100.

    I mean thats a law , isn’t it?

    I mean a whole juror can’t be made up of 12 dimwitts.
    (But of-course any normal person can think of a way to get out of juror duty.

    [but there can’t be any flaw in our justice system]
    After all it was good enough for my Great , great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather….. so it’s good enough for Me!

    • Bill you annoy me. If you were his lawyer and I was on the jury, I’d vote “guilty” just for being forced to listen to your pompous sarcasm.

  27. Wow, I just watched the show about this & guilty or not the prosecution did not prove their case w/out a reasonable doubt.
    Our justice system is a sham.

  28. For the people who say there was no evidence:

    The Google searches he performed are evidence;
    The fact that all his wounds could have been self-inflicted is evidence;
    The fact that he invited his girlfriend to move to California two days before the murder is evidence;
    The songs he downloaded celebrating murder are evidence;
    The presence of clear-cut motives is evidence;
    The discrepancy between his account and the actual physical condition of the body is evidence.

    • Exactly. You are correct. All of that IS evidence. People have become so hung up on “forensic” evidence that they think circumstantial evidence, motive, means, and opportunity no longer count. What did we base things on before forensic science was made available to us? Circumstantial evidence, motive, means, and opportunity. They counted then and they still count.

  29. The only thing I have to say about all of your comments is FIRST of all, no one knows the truth of what actually happened at the time of the crime except for Justin and God. Second of all, who put all of you in a position to judge anyone for their shortcomings (weather guilty of murder or not)? Third, circumstantial evidence does not prove murder when there is a body and the only time it has ever proved murder is when there was no body found. Fourth, all of you really need to study law and forensics! The fact of the matter is, all of the wife’s friends and family decided they did not like him because he cheated on her not once but five times. The aunt was a judge in Oklahoma and she had many conversations with investigators in Florida. That fact is a conflict of interest, aunt judge should have let Florida authorities do their job with no interference!

    • No one knows the “truth” but Justin and God. Ok. You are correct. But that goes for everything here. You are simply basing your opinion about the Aunt Judge tainting the investigation on what? Rumors and conjecture. Unless of course you were in on the alleged “conversations”. Which I’m betting you we’re not.

  30. DeAnn if too few tears or too many tears mean guilt then how could he prove his innocence? No tears at all equals guilt too. I thought that too many tears meant one was innocent of the crime they are accused of unless the tears are crocodile tears that the person who committed the crime only cried because they got caught in the act instead of real tears.

  31. If Justin made $105000 a year then he could afford a divorce.

  32. Lack of evidence or not, this guy is guilty and he is a fake person by nature…he is where he belongs and I can assure everyone that he is going through hell on a daily basis, and will for the rest of his wormy lifespan…He likes sex and cheating on his wife?? Well he’s getting plenty now weather he wants it or not(HA HA) poor little blonde haired blue eyed boy!!! That girl was the living proof of a beautiful person with a good heart who will never be able to pass it on by being a mother, or a sister or daughter, she will never be the right mans wife because of that selfish SOB. The world lost a person that had much to offer, she cared of others and lost her chance at life…For once the justice system didn’t work for criminal, it was close enough as it was, I cant believe some of those jurors couldn’t see through that blue ribbon acting he was putting on…that was pathetic,

  33. I don’t know if any of you personally know him, but I do. I had an idea of what type oferson he was just by looking at him. Simply seeing someone means nothing. Knowing someone means everything. He was not at all what I expected. He may have been a terrible husband, but he is an awesome person. He has brought so much joy to my life. never judge a book by it’s cover. This book is so much better than people give him credit for!

    • kat,

      What about April? Please remember the victim, and that person is April. My blog is to remember the victim and for justice for the victim. Obviously you did not read my comment policy. You did not even mention April, and that is just plain sad. She did not deserve to have her husband kill her.

    • Kat, you might see the awesome side of Justin, that does not mean that April didn’t see the—- awful— side of Justin. You and all of us bloggers weren’t there, Justin maybe good to you –, that does not mean that the facts, April’s family and a juror of Justin’s peers got it wrong.

  34. I personally knew April and her best friend and she was such a wonderful friend. We became great college friends our freshman year thru to our senior year. We both worked on greek and campus activities and were lil’ sis for the same fraternity. It’s so hard looking back at college photos of us together and thinking of all the struggles she had over come from her mother’s death and helping to raise her siblings while away from college. I remember her putting her family first right after her mom died before her happiness and college life. I remember seeing how hard it was for her to leave her family to be at college all week and then she would head straight home to help out and be the mother figure on the weekends. Such a beautiful human being that had so much to offer the world and medical community. She would have poured out her heart and soul to be a Mother if she was given the chance. April is so dearly missed by all who were lucky enough to know her and be her friend.

  35. I totally understand where you ladies are coming from. I did not know her but only of her. She was beautiful and from what I hear, she had a personality to match. I know there are certain things that made him look guilty, but there are other things the public knows nothing about. He is not the monster that he is made out to be.

    • How is he not a monster? He cheated on his wife and killed her. That does not make him a good man.

      • No it doesn’t make him a good man. I mean the fact that he cheated. Really though, I’m not trying to argue with you. I was simply stating my opinion. I hope you have a fantastic night. I know you are convinced of him guilt and that’s understandable. Just do one things for me today. Just think what if he is innocent. Just ponder on that for a while. I don’t expect for everyone to my opinion. Just consider it. That’s. All.

        • Kat— How can you ask anyone to consider the Justin’s innocence, if you are not providing details or exact reasons for anyone to make that decision? You are saying that we should ponder his innocence without a reason to do so…That’s like me stating I
          have a wonderful piece of land in the Florida swamps that you can build a house on. Wouldn’t you want to look at it first and see it for yourself and get all the facts before you signed and paid for the property? Then provide evidence that shows his innocence. Were waiting.

  36. Kat— When you state—there are other things the public knows nothing about—are you referring to evidence in the case? If so then what are these other things? Were these other things brought up in trial for the jury to review?…Or are you referring to other things regarding Justin’s personality that he has shown to you?….You are the one bringing this up.and wanting to change our minds/view of this case/person…As they say put up or shut up In other words provide valid and detailed information to back up your reasons to believe that Justin didn’t murder April.

  37. I recently had a mind to research the outcome of this case because I worked with this guy at Rayonier (in Lake Oswego, Oregon) before he was convicted. Being hired by the Senior VP of Finance and the Executive VP of Legal at Rayonier Corporate in Jacksonville, FL, I was brought in to oversee the operations and keep a close eye on the Lumber Products Trading division of the company and its management where Barber had been transferred across country from being an attache’ for the SVP Finance to work clear across the country for an inconspicuous subsidiary of a Fortune 200 company.

    I listened closely and observed many different views and was appraised of the suspicions of a corporate relocation to keep the heat off the upper management.

    The women in the office were frightened of Barber.

    During my short tenure, I inspected Barber’s vehicle (Toyota 4Runner) which displayed Florida license plates, but had Oregon stickers that had been removed from another vehicle and pasted onto the Florida plates, keeping the appearance of being legal and properly licensed.

    After raising my suspicions, I took the opportunity to watch this character very closely during casual after work outings with the GM, whom I was also hired to watch and report back to corporate. Barber was always needing the center of attention, and was a very calculating and troubled person at that time, shifty and untrustworthy. He was also a womanizer and flirt without a care as though he had some magical touch…very arrogant. This was all after only months after being transferred…showed no remorse. Further, on one occasion, I gained the courage to inquire about the matter in a social setting. This guy had the audacity to even brag about his “self inflicted” injuries. When he went to this spot I watched his body language and eyes very closely, and in my opinion, I say a guilty man intent on one thing…survival.

    Moreover, the whole operation and duties he was “responsible” for were fraught with fraud and deception from corporate oversight. Collusion of railcars filled with thousands of dollars in product being lost due to side tracking, etc. etc.

    It would not have surprised me if this thread ran much deeper?! Based on fear of the environment and compelling accusations from the GM, etc., I chose to resign and move on.

    Within a couple of days after my chosen departure and severing my employment to protect my CPA license from fraudulent activity, I received an inquisition call from the EVP Legal, inquiring of what I knew and much about my experiences.

    I chose not to get involved, but felt all along that the knowledge of events were conspicuous at best, and perhaps worse.

    I told the EVP that I did not want to get involved, that I believed there were significant illegal activities occurring, and that I did not want to be contacted again.

    I was never subpoenaed to testify.

    It appears that some Justin justice was served…I wonder whom else knew or was involved???

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