The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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May 7, 2013

Jury selection set today in Barrett murder trial

PALESTINE — Jury selection was set to begin today for the trial of a Montalba man accused in the beating death of his wife at their residence in December 2011, with the state set to begin testimony on Wednesday.

Noble Lee Barrett Jr., 53, is accused of the murder of Beverly Carey Barrett, also 53, after he administered blunt force blows to his wife’s head at the couple’s residence in the 15000 block of FM 321 on Dec. 3, 2011, resulting in the woman’s death.

According to reports, authorities responded to a medical emergency call at the couple’s residence around 10:40 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2011.

Beverly Barrett, who had a “large gash to her forehead,” was transported from the scene to Palestine Regional Medical Center where she died a short time later.

On the day of the alleged murder and during the execution of a pair of subsequent search warrants, Taylor said investigators gathered multiple items of evidence from the residence.

A Texas Department of Public Safety dive team utilized specialized equipment to search a well on the couple’s property, but did not uncover any significant evidence. Other search warrants were later issued to obtain hair and DNA evidence from the scene and from Noble Barrett’s person.

The Barretts were the only two persons living at the residence, and investigators do not believe there were any witnesses to the incident.

Authorities have said the Barretts had been together for approximately one year. Although their relationship was short, authorities say it was marked by multiple allegations of domestic violence.

Noble Barrett had three pending family violence cases involving his wife at the time of her death, authorities have said. On one occasion, Noble Barrett allegedly used a “Dearborn heater” to assault his wife.

Beverly Barrett had been advised to leave the relationship, according to authorities. The woman had asked that charges against her husband be dropped “more than once,” according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor.

349th State District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher is presiding over the trial.

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

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