Yolanda Baker’s boyfriend convicted

Earlier I wrote that the boyfriend of Yolanda Baker, who disappeared in 1999, was on trial for her murder. Well, after three days of deliberation, Terrance Barnett has been found guilty of second-degree murder. He was charged with first-degree murder, but without the body and stuff, the jury couldn’t determine premeditation. No word on what the sentencing guidelines are, but presumably Barnett will be facing some serious time.

The two of them had twins together. I feel so sorry for the children. I can’t imagine what it would be like, growing up knowing my father killed my mother.

In other murder without a body news

Two suspects have been convicted of killing Darryl Miller, who’s been missing from Spartanburg, South Carolina since 2005. Miller had a troubled past; he shot a man to death when he was a teenager and served ten years in prison. But after he got out he kept his nose clean and didn’t get in trouble again. He was apparently killed during a robbery attempt. The murderers will both serve 30 years in prison with no chance at parole.

Last I knew, a suspect in the Yolanda Baker disappearance — her boyfriend, the father of her children — is currently on trial. However that article is over ten days old. I don’t know whether he’s still being tried, or if there’s been a verdict or what. Anyone who does know, please pass it along my way so I can update her case. From my reading, the case against the guy looks flimsy — not only no body, but no weapon, no witnesses, only a few drops of blood. But you can get a conviction on that. The Reiser case in California comes to mind.

Earlier I posted that, per Project Jason, Katesia Weathers had been found dead. Not so, apparently; it’s just that her family now considers her deceased and her case done with. What has happened is that her killer (yes, the boyfriend again) pleaded no contest to murder earlier this month. He got twenty-five years, this on top of twenty-two years he got for attacking Katesia earlier. I don’t know about the assault sentence, but the murder sentence is without parole, so chances are he’s never going to see the light of day again. He could have faced the death penalty if it had gone to trial. No contest pleas are, excuse my French, chickenshit — basically, they’re a way to plead guilty to get reduced time and all that without actually admitting you did anything wrong. A guilty plea usually requires adjudication, meaning you have to stand up in court and say yes, you did what they said you did.

Tad DiBiase, a prosecutor who’s done no-body cases before, has put up a tip list of how to successfully prosecute such cases.