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Man who called TV station to report wife’s death charged with murder

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on March 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm with No Comments »
March 18, 2013 4:55 pm
Sara Barrett
Sara Barrett

UPDATE 2: Not guilty pleas were entered on Tony Barrett’s behalf this afternoon in Superior Court. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $2 million. Here’s a video from outside court in which a relative of the Barretts talks about Sara’s death. Earbuds or headphones recommended.





UPDATE: Sara Barrett filed for divorce from her husband a few days before she was killed, charging papers show. Tony Barrett knew his wife wanted to divorce him, the papers say.

Sara Barrett recently told a woman dating her husband that she was becoming increasingly afraid of him, prosecutors wrote in the papers.

Detectives used interviews and video surveillance to piece together a timeline of Sara Barrett’s last few hours alive:

About 2 p.m. Wednesday, she left early from her workplace in DuPont to go pick up her son. A white van is seen pulling up next to her car as she sits in the parking lot. Someone is seen leaving the van and climbing into her car, which drove away.

Forty minutes later, the car returns and both Sara Barrett and another person are seen climbing into the van through the passenger door. The van then drives off.

About 3:30 p.m., her son calls her and she says she’s stuck in traffic.

About 4:45 p.m., Tony Barrett checks in to the Motel 6 in Tacoma. Half an hour later, he buys fast food at a nearby restaurant.

An hour later, video surveillance shows the white van entering the parking lot of the Walmart on Mountain Highway. Shortly thereafter, a pickup belonging to Tony Barrett is seen leaving the parking lot.

Investigators later found blood inside Sara Barrett’s car and inside the white van. They also found a ripped tank top and a knife in the van, records show.

Sara Barrett had to gashes on her neck when her body was discovered.

Tony Barrett told investigators he and his wife went to the motel, had sex then got into a fight. He said Sara Barrett won the fight, and he left the motel, giving her $100 so she could take a cab back to her car in DuPont, the records show.

He later alleged called the TV station, friends and relatives to say he’d done “something bad,” the records show.

Police said they searched his pickup and found notes to his family saying he’d done something bad and receipts for over-the-counter painkillers. He was treated at a local hospital for injuries sustained in his struggle with authorities and for a possible drug overdose, the records show.

PREVIOUS POST: A Spanaway man who led police on a high-speed chase after calling a local television station to say he’d killed his wife was charged today with first-degree murder.

Tony Barrett, 42, also is charged with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle. He is to be arraigned in Pierce County Superior Court this afternoon.

Authorities believe Barrett  killed his wife Sara Barrett, 42, last week. Investigators found her body Thursday in a Tacoma motel room. She’d been asphyxiated, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

Barrett called KOMO News late Wednesday to say he’d killed his wife. The station alerted authorities who began searching for Barrett. He eventually led them on a chase through Pierce County that ended in Gig Harbor, where he struggled with sheriff’s deputies and was bitten by a police dog.

Sara Barrett had sought numerous protection orders against her husband, saying he abused and threatened her.

Tony Barrett
Tony Barrett


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