James Barber Sentenced to Death in Murder of 75-Year Old Dottie Epps

Published: Jan. 9, 2004 at 10:22 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2004 at 8:37 AM CST
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A Madison County man has been sentenced to death for beating a 75-year old woman to death.

The judge who sentenced James Barber, called it a cruel, heinous and wicked crime that was committed.

"They said different things at different times, they tried to put me at the scene and I was never there," said Barber after the sentencing, maintaining his innocence. A jury convicted Barber of beating 75-year old Dottie Epps to death with a hammer in May 2001, and recommended in December he get the death penalty.

Barber worked for Epps as a handyman. Defense attorneys were fighting for a sentence of life in prison for Barber.

"When you look at the facts of the case, he beat an elderly lady to death with a claw hammer. If this isn't a death penalty case, there's no such thing," said Assistant District Attorney Robert Broussard.

An appeal to a death penalty sentence is automatic. The Epps family says after waiting for more than two years, they are very relieved and glad the ordeal is over.