WARRENTON - After approximately an hour's deliberation, a jury returned two guilty verdicts against a Poplar Bluff man charged in a New Madrid County double murder.
Cecil Barriner was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Irene Sisk and her teen-age granddaughter, Candace, by the jurors, who are hearing the case in Warren County on a change of venue. The verdict came after the prosecution presented evidence for two days about the Dec. 16, 1996, murders of the Sisks. Barriner's attorneys, members of the State Public Defender's office, did not present a defense on behalf of their client Friday, bringing the case to a rapid conclusion.
Saturday the lawyers will return to court to argue the penalty phase of the trial before the jury. With first degree murder, only two penalties are possible under Missouri law - life without the possibility of parole or the death sentence.
This is the second trial for Barriner, who was sentenced to death following the first case. However, the sentence was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court on a 5-4 ruling, prompting the retrial.
Further details on the case were not available at press time.