The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

May 10, 2013

Sides rest in murder trial

By MARY RAINWATER
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Both the state and the defense rested their case Thursday in the murder trial of a Montalba man accused in the 2011 beating death of his wife, with closing arguments and jury deliberations scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. today.

Noble Lee Barrett Jr., 55, is accused of the murder of Beverly Carey Barrett, after he administered blunt force blows to his wife’s head at the couple’s residence in the 1500 block of FM 321 on Dec. 3, 2011, resulting in the woman’s death.

Thursday began with the continued presentation of a video interview with the defendant conducted by Anderson County Sheriff’s Office investigator Capt. Jay Russell and Texas Ranger Rudy Flores.

In subsequent questioning, Russell testified that Noble Barrett was asked five to seven times during the interview about whether or not he killed his wife.

“He never said no,” Russell said. “He said he didn’t know what happened.”

Barrett asked “a few times” if they had found any evidence, and also told them about a pink sheet supposedly used to wipe blood from the victim — a sheet never found by investigators.

“It was also curious about his description of the house,” Russell said. “He was pretty specific about every room in the house, except the room where we found the weapon.”

Flores, a blood stain pattern expert who often assists county law enforcement officers with investigations, testified as to what he discovered at the Barrett residence.

“The first thing I noticed was the amount of blood stain and distribution in the front area of the residence,” Flores testified, “particularly in the living room and TV rooms.”

Flores pointed out a partial blood stain showered across a pink door frame with the blood appearing to be “in flight at a downward angle.”

“It was created due to a strong force at a horizontal plane, as an object might cast off blood, from right to left,” he said. “The weapon created cast off patterns on the wall behind a printed chair, on a sheet and on the curtains and windows.

“There was a dynamic activity blood shed event.”

Flores was shown the item believed to be a weapon — a homemade club described a 36-inch long handle, reinforced with wire and wrapped in duct tape, stating he believed that was the item used to kill Beverly Barrett.

“I don’t believe that anything happened based on the way the defendant described it,” Flores testified. “Based on the evidence at the scene, it was a dramatic blood force event.”

The defense, represented by Palestine attorney William House Jr., brought no witnesses to the stand, but instead provided information clarifying the phone numbers of Beverly Barrett and state’s witness Linda Wickware and submitted a copy of the cellular phone records for Beverly Barrett.

Closing arguments, followed by jury deliberations, were scheduled to continue today in the district courtroom on the second floor of the Anderson County Courthouse, with 349th State District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher presiding.

Representing the state are Anderson County assistant district attorneys Elizabeth Watkins and Scott Holden.

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Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com