State Won’t Pursue Death Penalty for Murder Suspect

The State will not seek the death penalty in the murder case against 47-year-old Joseph Wayne Barker of Vale.

During a hearing in Catawba County Superior Court on Monday, June 24, 2019, prosecutors announced their intent to proceed with the case as a non-capital murder.

Barker is charged with the April 23, 2019, shooting death of his wife, 43-year-old Crystal Johnson Barker. He fled the scene of the crime and was located two days later in Transylvania County.

The defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office continues investigation of the case.

CONTACT: Nathan Key

Phone: 828-695-6193