Murder without a body
From the Palm Beach Post-
WEST PALM BEACH — It was a first-degree murder case, but with no dead body.A reasonable conclusion, and possibly a very unjust verdict. How can you say with a certainty a person who's missing, is murdered alone dead?
Indeed, no one really knows where Rae Meichelle Tener is.
But jurors convicted Mark Barrow Friday of first-degree murder in her death.
Barrow, 46, had no apparent reaction as the verdict was read. Nor when he was then sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Assistant State Attorney Aleathea McRoberts said the 12 men and women have sent a clear message:
"Jurors don't have to have a body. They can follow a trail of violence and come to a logical conclusion, the only reasonable conclusion," she said.
At trial this week, McRoberts speculated that Tener ended up in a bag at the bottom of a canal after being bludgeoned by Barrow nearly three years ago.A bit of blood in a van, a drunken confession to a third party, but no body and no physical proof of murder. Ask yourself, would you want to put someone in jail for the rest of their life based on that?
Susaneck speculated Tener had moved away or disappeared, leaving behind a son, as she had done before. Not just for few days this time, but for good.
Jurors heard testimony from a key witness, Peggy Lasalle, a former girlfriend of Barrow's who said he gave a tearful confession to her one night when he was drunk. Jurors heard about drops of Tener's blood found under the seat of Barrow's work van. They heard accounts of people present the night Tener was last seen, accounts that prove Barrow lied to police about his actions, the prosecutor argued.
"How do you know Rae Meichelle Tener is dead?" McRoberts told jurors. "Because the defendant said he killed her and her blood is in his van. It doesn't get much more simple than that."
Barrow's motive? He despised Tener because she got Lasalle mixed up in drugs and he would get stuck with Lasalle's kids in the end, McRoberts argued. The three were neighbors at a Drexel Road trailer park in suburban West Palm Beach.
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Is it just me?, Pirate's Cove, Point Five,