WARRENTON - A jury reinstated the death penalty for a man charged in a gruesome double murder.
Cecil Barriner was found guilty Friday of two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Irene Sisk and her teen-age granddaughter, Candace, by the jurors. On Saturday, the jurors, who heard the case in Warren County on a change of venue, determined Barriner should be punished for the women's Dec. 16, 1996, murders by dying.
Jurors took just over an hour to reach their conclusion after hearing from six witnesses presented by the prosecution, including family members of the Sisks and Candace's fiance at the time. Barriner, who was represented by the Missouri Public Defender's office, had 10 witnesses called on his behalf as his lawyers sought to have the jury impose life imprisonment.
This is the second trial for Barriner, who was sentenced to death in 1999 following the first case. However, the sentence was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court on a 5-4 ruling, prompting the retrial.
"From the state's point of view, we were very fortunate that all of our witnesses were still available and that we were able to produce them in Warren County during the week," said H. Riley Bock, New Madrid County prosecuting attorney who tried the case with the assistance of Rachel Smith from the Missouri Attorney General's office. Bock noted witnesses had to be brought from Mobile, Ala., and Vicksburg, Miss., as well as Southeast Missouri to testify in the week-long trial.
"The state presented essentially the same case as before under the evidence restraints of the Supreme Court that sent the case back for a new trial," said Bock. "As always we believed it was a strong case both for conviction and for the jury to consider the death penalty."
Formal sentencing for Barriner is set for 9 a.m. March 29 in Warrenton.