tv Forensic Files CNN April 18, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
without the evidence of the matching envelopes and without the handwriting comparison. >> it was like a work of art. it started, it grew and then it came to a completion and then it was all there. there was nothing they could dispute. i don't care what defense they brought up. we defeated all of them. a computer hard drive holds hundreds of secrets. every key stroke tells a story. but if someone downloads a sock about murder, does it make him a killer. it was a hot august night in jacksonville, florida. and a time of celebration for april and justin barber. it was their third wedding
anniversary, and april was about to finish her training as a radiology technician. >> april had gone into the field of oncology, specifically radiology-type treatment for cancer patients, which was inspired by her mother's death of cancer. >> justin had good news, too. he had just got a job for a large lumber company. >> he was a very good guy, very smart, very successful. had everything going for him. just like my sister. they were two of a kind, i guess. >> the couple's anniversary dinner was at an italian restaurant. later, they took a walk along the beach. but their romantic evening ended there when a man demanded money. justin tried to grab the gun, shots were fired.
and that's the last thing justin remembered. when he regained consciousness, she realized he had been shot and was bleeding. he found april unconscious and face down in the water. justin dragged april's body about 100 yards towards their car, but his wounds made it impossible to carry her up the long flight of stairs. so he left here near the board walk and drove for help. he flagged down a motorist a few miles away. >> 911, what is your emergency? >> i think someone has been shot. >> is he conscious at all? >> yeah, we're trying to keep it that way. >> do you see a gunshot wound? >> gunshot or stab. >> by the time they got to the beach, april was dead from a gunshot wound to her face.
>> people were calling me and telling me that my sister was shot and i was in shock. i mean, it was nothing i expected. >> at the hospital emergency room, doctors treated justin for four gunshot wounds. [ gunfire ] he survived. but was unable to provide a good description of their attacker. >> justin couldn't see his face, it was too dark. and i believe it is too dark to see anybody's face out there. >> at the beach, police didn't find much evidence, just the impressions from justin dragging april's body in the sand. and the tides were rising. soon, there would be nothing left of the crime scene. ( music throughout) ♪
barber's body, she had on her julie and expensive rings, earrings and her watch. if this were a robbery, why was nothing taken? >> the medical examiner discovered foam around april's mouth. >> the foam was still present around her nose or mouth or both. due to the damage caused to the salt water lining of the lungs. >> the doctor notices the gun from the wound was on top of the foam. >> this that april had almost drowned but survived and was shot afterwards. >> our conclusions were that she had suffered a near drowning episode and she had been shot while she were alive. if she were dead from the drowning there would not have been a vital reaction to the gunshot. there would not have been hemorrhage into the sinus.
>> why did the autopsy findings differ from justin's version of the incident? >> it would be very traumatic. it was very traumatic to him if it occurred as was stated. i would not expect a lot of detail from a person that went through that type of dramatic experience. >> he provided a much better description of the assailant. >> he was taller than me, but he wasn't overweight. he was strong. his shirt was dark and baggy. it was a t-shirt. he had a dark hat on, like a baseball cap. >> incredibly the police sketch resembled a local man, 30-year-old david allen schuey with previous arrests for sexual
assault. in fact he allegedly used a gun while committing an assault on the same beach that justin and april were shot. >> he went down to the beach to find a female. somehow confronted her. certainly intended on doing a sexual assault or battery to her. >> fortunately the victim got away but later identified schuey as her attacker. the police questioned schuey. he denied any involvement and claimed he had an alibi. >> we know from his credit card records he was in connecticut living with his fiance at the time of the homicide. so we know he was not the assailant. >> next, investigators looked in to justin barber's background.
>> i talked to justin. i said tell me about your marriage. we had a happy and normal marriage. have you ever had an affair? no, never. >> but investigators dug deeper and learned that justin was having an affair with his tennis partner, shannon kennedy. >> i would say here is the deal. i have shannon in the next room saying you are engaged in an extramarital affair. we will get to the bottom of it. no. don't do that. we are. i don't want to get her involved. who knows where that can lead. >> she told everybody that would listen to her. justin is having an affair. i confronted him about it. >> at the time it appeared he was only dating one other person but appeared he had as many as
five extra marital affairs during the three-year marriage. >> he made his computer available. justin's computer went to chris hendry of florida's computer evidence recovery section. >> when i made a copy of justin's home computer hard drive, the next thing i did is to look for anything deleted such as folders or files. >> hendry noticed justin downloaded a song on to his computer hours before his wife's death. >> the lyrics are violent, about killing somebody. >> it was a song by the group guns n roses with the lyrics, i used to love her but i had to kill her. she drove me nuts and now i am
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justin barber told police that a robber shot his wife, april in the head and shot him four times while they were walking on the beach. he claimed he passed out and later found his wife face-down in the ocean. but the forensic evidence contradicted parts of justin's story. >> she had evidence of abrasions on her collarbone, by the ear and the back of the neck consistent with abrasions being placed there. could it be caused by forcefully being held underwater? yes. >> on justin's computer forensic
experts found evidence of a possible motive. apparently justin had been trading stocks on the internet and hadn't been doing well. >> he was in debt and he lost quite a bit of money. >> justin borrowed money against his credit cards at very high interest rates. >> that was a time of low interest home equity lones. >> you talk about a finance manager that has an mba in business and it is important to know the effects of consumer debt.
>> we didn't have our mother or father. april felt it was her responsibility to take care of it. that was a big part of the reason for those. justin was the sole beneficiary and could have done anything he wanted to do with the money. was that enough motive to kill his wife and then shoot himself four times to cover it up? >> risky but people do a lot of crazy things for over $2 million. >> using an ultraviolet life jerry findley examined the shirt justin was wearing the night of the attack. >> you could see some visible gunshot residue and i wanted to see the extent of the pattern. >> the gunshot residue could
have come from justin being in close contact with the assailant. but the angles of the bullet wounds to justin's body were another matter. one shot went through his left hand. the other three shots were directed away from vital organs and bone. they remarkable coincidence. >> the location was not consist went a mugger or somebody struggling over a gun. you are not going to leave a witness. >> investigators analyze april's clothing and found another inconsistency. justin claimed that he carried april's body 100 yards up to the base of the stairs after they had both been shot by the assailant. >> one of the gun shot entries is on his left hand.
his hand would have been bleeding in fact there was not. >> if she is bleeding from this gunshot and he does not have it on his. i think that speaks for itself. >> and by the direction that the blood travelled from the wound, investigators could tell april's body had not been moved after she was shot. >> blood flow on april barber was in one direction, straight down to the left from the gunshot wound and if the body was moved in various positions, the blood flow would have changed. >> and finally there was something else that bothered investigators, why didn't justin use april's cell phone that was in her purse in the car? >> why wouldn't you just call on her cell phone and get help? he had to get rid of the gun.
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on justin barber's computer, forensic experts found e-mail evidence of his extra marital affairs and financial records showing he was deeply in debt. but that wasn't all. forensic experts discovered that justin searched various websites looking for evidence on gunshot wounds to the right chest. >> what are the chances of researching that and six months later being shot in the right chest? i don't believe that is possible. >> prosecutors believe that she wanted a divorce.
prosecutors also believe that justin wanted the $2 million from april's life insurance policy. so he searched computer websites to learn how to shoot himself without inflicting serious injury. justin believed if he drove to the hospital with gunshot wounds everyone would believe his robbery story. >> he wanted in my belief to show up with his bride in the suv at the hospital at a hero, not only a hero but a victory. move on with his life from there. >> but it did not turn out that way. >> they say when you commit a homicide you commit about 30 mistakes and remember only about five. >> the first mistake happened after 5:00 p.m.
he downloaded the song "i used to love her but i had to kill her." prosecutors believe that april told justin over dinner that she wanted a divorce. after that justin enticed april to go for a walk on the beach to continue their discussion about how to end their marriage. but right away his plan fell apart. perhaps she thought something was amiss or saw the gun. either way there was a struggle. justin subdued her by holding her head under the water until she lost consciousness. he then carried her towards the car but there was no blood transfer, because at that point neither one was bleeding. he fired a single shot into april's head. the blood from her head wound
was on top of the foam produced by the near drowning. justin then shot himself four times, careful not to break any bones or hit vital organs. but the pain and the task of carrying april's body up a long flight of stairs required a change of plans. he had no choice but to leave april's body there. justin got rid of the murder weapon somewhere along the highway and tried to gather his thoughts and compose a possible explanation for the water in april's lungs. drove for ten miles passing numerous homes and businesses along the way before he asked a fellow motorist to call 9-1-1. perhaps the oddist piece of
forensic evidence is that justin erased the guns and roses song before his computer an hour or so before turning it over to police. >> that is hard to hear that he did it. he was somebody that i trusted and looked up to. there is not a day that goes by that i do not think about my sister. >> in june 2006, justin barber went on trial for the first degree murder of his wife, april. the forensic evident was simply too much to overcome. he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. investigators describe it as one of the most unusual and cold-blooded cases they have ever seen. >> if you take somebody like justin barber who is a sociopath and narcissistic, he did not want the stigma of a divorce.
>> there were no independent witnesses other than the sdeevi the murderer. >> with the physical evidence we have, once we developed it and analyzed it and had it in its final form, it revealed that justin barber was a liar. >> a small texas community mourned the tragic death of an outstanding high school athlete and scholar. at first there was not much hope that the killer would be apprehended but tiny paint chips and bits of plastic provided evidence far more accurate than an eyewitness. san antonio is one of the fastest-growing cities in texas, which in turn