Could it be that now she is siding with a child killer? It's not bad enough to be known for marrying a man who brutally had his wife killed in cold blood but now she is speaking out on behalf of a child killer. This woman has serious mental issues.http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/13943163.htm
Posted on Thu, Feb. 23, 2006
Killer's mother offers condolences to Underwood family
By TRACI SHURLEY
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
FORT WORTH - Stephen Barbee?s mother said Thursday afternoon that she?s been waiting a long time to offer her condolences to Lisa Underwood?s family over the death of the pregnant woman and her 7-year-old son, Jayden.
Hours after her son was convicted of killing them, she had her chance.
?Steve and [Stephen?s father] and I are so very sorry. We?ve been there,? Jackie Barbee said during the sentencing phase of her son?s capital murder trial. ?I lost a daughter and she was pregnant. ... I understand your pain, just please try to forgive everything that?s happened.?
Earlier Thursday, Barbee, 38, was convicted of capital murder for the slayings of Underwood and her son, Jayden. The two were suffocated and then taken to Denton County where they were buried in a remote spot.
Barbee faces the death penalty. District Judge Bob Gill has said jurors will likely begin deliberations Monday on whether to give him death.
Police say Barbee confessed that he thought the unborn baby was his and claimed that Underwood was threatening to tell his second wife, Trish, about the pregnancy. The couple has since divorced.
?He thought he was going to lose everything,? assistant district attorney Kevin Rousseau said during closing arguments. ?He thought he was going to lose his new wife.?
As one of six witnesses defense attorneys called Thursday afternoon, Jackie Barbee talked about the deaths of Stephen Barbee?s sister and brother. The two, who were three and five years older than Barbee, died within years of each other, when Stephen Barbee was a teen-ager.
Most of Barbee?s family and friends said they did not believe he killed Lisa Underwood or her little boy, even though he confessed to his then-wife in a videotaped statement.
Earlier in the day, his first wife also testified that he had admitted the killings to her.
Theresa Barbee, who was subpoenaed by the prosecution, said Stephen Barbee later changed that story. But, she still loved him and visited him every week in the Tarrant County Jail, trying to learn the truth about what happened.
She stopped the visits in late September. When prosecutors asked why, she broke down in tears.
?Because of what he wanted me to do,? she testified. ?He wanted me to say that Ron [Dodd] did this. He wanted me to tell his attorneys and everybody else that Ron slipped.?
Theresa Barbee, who was married to Stephen Barbee from 1996 to 2003, now lives with Ronald Dodd, a friend and former employee of Stephen Barbee.
Dodd is free on bail awaiting trial on two counts of tampering with physical evidence. He is accused of helping Barbee conceal the bodies.
Theresa Barbee was the prosecution?s first witness in the sentencing phase. During her nearly two hours on the stand, she recounted several violent episodes from their marriage.
She said the couple had three physical fights, including one in which her husband held her by the neck.
She also described an incident in which he knocked a decorative hanging off a wall and onto her head. She lost consciousness and awoke to find him sitting in a chair eating ice cream, she said.
?I asked him to take me to the hospital or call 911,? Theresa Barbee said. ?He said I was faking.?
When defense attorneys questioned her, Theresa Barbee?s descriptions of her husband were more sympathetic.
She talked about how the two entertained children at church with puppet shows, and she described the pain he felt every time he thought about the deaths of his older brother and sister.
About 3 p.m., the state rested.
Earlier Thursday, the jury took one hour and 20 minutes to find Barbee guilty of capital murder.
In closing arguments in the guilt-innocence phase, Ray argued that Barbee should not be found guilty of capital murder because he did not plan to kill Underwood.
In his first statement before jurors, Ray said his client was telling the truth when he told his second wife, Trish, that he accidentally killed Lisa Underwood early on Feb. 19, 2005.
?A planned-out killer would not have left two or three crime scenes,? said Ray, who is representing Barbee with Tim Moore. ?And he would not have taken police to where the bodies were.?
That tearful conversation between Barbee and his wife was the only videotaped statement from Barbee that the jury saw.
But jurors weren't swayed, determining that Barbee intentionally killed both Underwood and Jayden, and finding him guilty of capital murder.
The jurors had the option of convicting Barbee of murder or of manslaughter.
Rousseau and Dixie Bersano had argued that the evidence pointing to Underwood?s intentional death was overwhelming.
Bersano recalled the testimony of a deputy Tarrant County medical examiner. She said Barbee would have had to have held Lisa Underwood down for at least two minutes and as many as eight to suffocate her in the carpet of her living room.
Rousseau also told jurors that the fact that Barbee had a friend drop him at Underwood?s home supported Carroll?s descriptions of Barbee?s plan to kill Underwood.
He didn?t want his car out front because his intentions were to commit murder, Rousseau said.
He killed Jayden because the little boy was a witness, prosecutors said.
?This was not an accidental killing followed by an intentional killing. This was two intentional killings committed in the exact same manner,? Rousseau said. ?The only difference between the two victims is that the first one was a little bigger and it took a little more work.?
Shortly after Gill called a lunch break, a woman who identified herself as Jodi Fratta said she was a spokeswoman for Barbee?s family and spoke to reporters.
Fratta said the family blames the guilty verdict on the unwillingness of Barbee?s attorneys to listen to their ideas.
?The state of Texas didn?t convict Stephen Barbee of capital murder, his own attorneys did,? Fratta said.
Later, Ray said he has a job to do and isn?t going to spend time defending his actions.
Of the family spokeswoman?s comments, he said the stress of a trial sometime causes people to say things ?they might or might not mean later.?