Brief: Heather Barbera Pleads Guilty to Murder

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Heather Barbera
Heather Barbera (Office of the Atlantic County Prosecutor)

Heather Barbera, 43, who was arrested last year on charges relating to the deaths of her mother and grandmother, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and murder.

In an Atlantic County courtroom on Oct. 15, Barbera explained how a verbal fight with her mother, Michelle Gordon, 67, turned physical, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Through answering questions from her attorney, Barbera said that Gordon first hit her in the head with a flashlight. Then Barbera got a nightstick — which had belonged to her deceased father who worked as a police officer — and hit her mother repeatedly in the head.

After Gordon became incapacitated, Barbera’s grandmother, Elaine Rosen, 87, tried to intervene. Barbera struck her grandmother multiple times.

Barbera now faces 42 years in prison. All the remaining charges against her, including robbery — police said she had stolen cash and credit cards from her mother and grandmother — were dropped.

On July 8, 2018, Richard Rosen, Elaine Rosen’s son and Michelle Gordon’s brother, discovered the bodies in Elaine Rosen’s Ventnor apartment. An autopsy revealed they had died of sharp and blunt force trauma, and authorities labeled their deaths a homicide.

Richard Rosen was in the courtroom. Outside, he called Barbera’s testimony “a lie” and said he had hoped she would face a possible sentence of 60 years, according to the Inquirer.

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