Barton Heads Back To Prison After Sentencing
July 3, 1996
SAN DIEGO An extra year in prison was the unintended result of Eddie Barton's successful appeal for a new trial for the 1991 fatal stabbing of 17-year-old John Wear in Hillcrest. Two men yelled anti-gay epithets in the infamous incident, although Wear was not gay.
Barton, now 29 and a carpenter from North Park, was sentenced Thursday, June 27, to 21-years-to-life in prison. When he was first convicted in 1993, he was given 20-years-to-life in San Diego Superior Court.
His attorney, Charles Adair, told Judge William Low he was bound by the first sentence, which was overturned by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in 1995. His second trial ended February 10 with a deadlocked jury, but he was convicted of second-degree murder again on April 12.
"He's being punished for basically having another trial. If you sentence him to a higher term, you're jeopardizing his right to an appeal", Adair told the judge.
Deputy District Attorney Gregg McClain said "all things are not the same" as in 1993 because Barton's juvenile record of "two crimes of violence" was only recently discovered.
McClain urged Low to impose the 21-years-to-life, saying the 1993 sentence did not reflect his criminal background. Low imposed 16-years-to-life for the slaying, 4 years consecutively for Barton slicing Wear's friend Brian Baird, now 22, with the same knife in the head, and 1 year for battery on Kenneth Keziah that occurred minutes earlier. Barton was fined $1,500.
A former co-defendant, Michael DiPaolo, now 28, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 1993 after jurors deadlocked 10-2 to acquit him in 1993. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison and called to testify in Barton's trial after his parole. DiPaolo denied any involvement in Wear's slaying depsite his guilty plea.
|If you found your way to this page through a search, Click here to get to the Home Page.|
|SOURCE: San Diego Update: July 3, 1996