Plea talks ongoing in killing of Ventnor mom, grandmother

A trial date is set for the Ventnor woman accused of killing her mother and grandmother a year ago.
But Heather Barbera’s attorney told the judge Thursday that he is “hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to resolve this matter without a trial.”
Barbera, 42, is accused of beating her 67-year-old mother, Michelle Gordon, and 87-year-old grandmother, Elaine Rosen, inside the Vassar Square condominium the three shared.
Barbera then fled after the July 7, 2018, killings with stolen property. She was later arrested in New York.
The defense has made a plea offer to the state that attorney James Leonard Jr. told the judge they believe is fair and is “mindful that there are two victims.”
What that offer is was not publicly disclosed.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Anne Crater said she would bring the offer back to Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner and his first assistant, Cary Shill.
“This is a very difficult case for the defense,” she told Judge Bernard DeLury, indicating that the state’s case is strong.
DeLury set a trial date for Oct. 8, in case there is no resolution.
Trial is expected to last about two to three weeks.
“It’s an emotional and difficult case, and complex with many moving pieces,” Leonard said after the brief hearing. “We want to make sure Ms Barbera gets her due process. She understands the severity of the situation.”

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