Pearl Murderer Found Guilty; Receives Life in Prison Following a Two-Day Trial

For Immediate Release
November 24, 2009
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Daniel F. Barber, Jr. of Pearl was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Patrick Spears. The verdict was delivered by a jury following a two-day trial where more than a dozen witnesses were called.

Guest stated, “Barber attempted to use self defense as his reason for murdering the victim. However, the jury determined that Barber was the initial aggressor and that the death of Patrick Spears was murder.”

Guest added, “Barber will be required to spend 40 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. This case highlights the successful prosecution of a dangerous offender by our criminal justice system. The jury, in this case, heard two days of testimony with more than a dozen witnesses being called. At the conclusion of the case, the evidence showed that Barber shot the victim multiple times, ending his life.”

Guest added, “Justice has prevailed in the conviction of Daniel Barber for murder. With Barber behind bars our community will be safer as he serves a life sentence for the death of Patrick Spears.”

On December 20, 2007, the Pearl Police Department was called regarding shots being fired. When they arrived, they saw the victim lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the street. The victim had a faint pulse and officials began life-saving actions. The victim later died at the hospital.

Officers interviewed several witnesses at the scene and were told that the victim was driving his car when Barber, who was walking, gestured for him to stop. The victim stopped his car and a verbal altercation began.

Barber struck Spears, through the open car window, and the victim got out of his car and was shot by Barber. Once Spears fell to the ground, Barber stood over him and continued to fire. Spears was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the face.

Barber fled the scene on foot and ended up in Jackson. The Jackson Police Department was called due to a disturbance. Once they arrived they found Barber. During their pat down they found several rounds of ammunition and a gun.

The Jackson Police Department determined that the gun was stolen and that Barber was wanted by the Pearl Police Department for a murder that had just occurred. The Pearl Police Department secured a warrant, went to Jackson and arrested Barber.

Witnesses identified Barber as the person who killed Spears. They were also able to identify the gun as the one Barber used during the murder. In addition, the Mississippi Crime Lab confirmed the presence of gunshot residue on Barber’s hand and matched the bullets to the gun found on Barber.

Guest concluded, “This conviction shows what can be accomplished when the members of our law enforcement community work together. I commend the Jackson Police Department, the Pearl Police Department, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, and the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory for the vital role they played in the arrest and prosecution of Daniel Barber.”