Barrett guilty of 2nd degree murder in Trimble case
July 18, 2009 07:30 PM CDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville jury late Saturday morning found 62-year-old Jerome Barrett guilty of two counts of second degree murder in the 1975 strangulation death of Marcia Trimble.
Because Barrett was tried under the statues of 1975, the jury was asked to sentence him.
He received two 44-year sentences, one for each count.
Trimble was nine-years-old when she disappeared while delivering Girl Scout cookies in her Green Hills neighborhood.
Her body was found in a neighbor's garage on Easter Sunday, 33 days later.
The case remained cold for three decades until DNA evidence put Barrett at the crime scene and he was charged in June of 2008.
Barrett faced one count of first degree murder and one count of felony murder in the case and faced up to life in prison.
The Marcia Trimble case has been regarded as the most notorious in Nashville history because of the circumstances surrounding her death and the length of the investigation.
Jurors deliberated for nearly seven hours Friday and about two hours Saturday morning before reaching their verdict.
Trimble's mother, Virginia Trimble Ritter, says she and her family can now finally breathe a sigh of relief.
"From 34 years I have only wanted the truth and I think today we got the truth, some of it anyway, most of it," she said. "I'm content with what happened [Saturday]."
The prosecution was hoping for a first degree murder conviction but said ultimately, the case wasn't about the punishment.
"It was more about determining the guilt and putting this case to rest and all the speculation," said Assistant District Attorney Tom Thurman. "All the people's names that have come along in the investigation can hold their head high and we finally know who killed Marcia Trimble."
Even through all the years, Trimble Ritter says she always stayed positive that this day would come.
She said, "I never gave up hope. I knew it would be solved. I wanted it to be solved before I died. Charlie, Marcia's father and my husband, died in 1989, he did not get to see this day."
Barrett was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison for the 1975 slaying of Vanderbilt student Sarah Des Prez.
A sentencing hearing will be held September 4 to determine whether the new sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently with his previous sentence.