A Tampa, Florida man facing charges of second-degree murder for beating his wife unconscious which ultimately led to her death in 2021, was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in jail, according to reports.
Fox station WTVT in Tampa, Florida reported that in 2021, Phoebe Kelly Barker was taken to the hospital with bruises, broken bones, brain bleeding and severe burns, clinging to her life.
Just before she died, Phoebe told a nursed that “her husband got aggressive with her and beat her up against her will.”
Her husband, Anthony Barker, 61, told police Phoebe fell out of bed, according to reports, and his attorneys told a judge she died of kidney failure.
Barker went to trial in December on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated battery, but the jury that oversaw the trial convicted him of manslaughter.
WTVT said during Barker’s sentencing on Tuesday, he maintained his claim that Phoebe did not die from domestic abuse, but instead of a chronic disease.
He pleaded for mercy and refused to admit to wrongdoing.
“I have to say I didn’t do what they said I did,” Barker reportedly said on Tuesday.
Phoebe’s mother, Phoebe Conklin, asked before sentencing that the judge sentence Barker to the maximum allowed by law, the news station reported.
After members of the family spoke to Barker directly, Tampa judge Christopher Sabella handed down a sentence of 144 months, or 12 years, with 555 days of credit, for manslaughter.