April Barber was a fifteen year old pregnant teen killer from North Carolina when she would murder her Grandparents. According to court documents April Barber was in a relationship with a man twice her age and became pregnant. The teen and her boyfriend decided the only way to be together was to get rid of her Grandparents. The pair would set the house on fire which killed Barber Aaron Barber during the blaze and her Grandmother Lilith would die from her injuries a few days later. April Barber would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to two life sentences without parole however the current North Carolina Governor would commute her sentence to 30 years in prison. April Barber walked out of prison today at the age of 45.
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A Triad woman behind bars for the past 30 years, convicted of killing her grandparents in 1991, is now free after being granted clemency.
April Barber left an Anson Correctional Facility early Thursday morning. She entered prison at 15 years old and was expected to serve two life sentences. She’s now 45 and a free woman
We were there the moment the gates opened for Barber. Corrections officials drove her to a nearby parking lot where family and friends greeted her, including her husband and son.
Barber was pregnant with her son when she killed her grandparents with the help of her 29-year-old boyfriend Clinton Johnson. Johnson died in prison in 1999.
Gov. Roy Cooper commuted her sentence on the recommendation of the Juvenile Sentencing Board.
Barber met her husband, William Scales, while incarcerated, so this was the first time many of her loved ones have ever seen her outside of prison.
She left the prison with her husband and a caravan of cars following them.
Barber’s lawyer tells us she’ll begin working as a paralegal. She received her paralegal certificate while behind bars.
A Charlotte-based group gave her a check for $500 to help her as she adjusts to life outside prison.
Barber was just 15 years old and living with her grandparents in 1991. She got pregnant by a man twice her age. Together, the pair devised a plan to set fire to her grandparents’ home. Barber Aaron Barber died in the blaze. His wife Lillie died days later.
Barber spoke to WFMY News 2 exclusively in 2015 from prison. She told us why she thought she deserved clemency.
“I think I have proven myself as far as that I have changed, that I’m not the same irrational person, and I think that my story in itself could help deter people from making the same mistakes that I did,” Barber said.
WFMY News 2’s Grace Holland will have more on this story during our newscasts on Thursday.
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mency by Governor Cooper got to walk out of prison Thursday morning.
April Barber, who was granted clemency in early March, walked out of Anson Correctional Institute around 9:45 a.m. and was greeted by a handful of family and friends.
‘Freedom fighting missionaries’ gave April a check for $500 to help her get established as she begins her new life.
FOX8 wasn’t allowed to ask questions, but overheard April tell someone she felt “amazing.”
April Leigh Barber was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in 1992, when she was 16 years old, after being found responsible for the deaths of Aaron and Lillie Barber in North Wilkesboro. The Barbers had adopted April as an infant, and they had fought over her romance with a man more than twice her age. They died on Labor Day 1991.
In his commutation, Cooper cited the facts that Barber, now 46, has been employed and participated in significant programming at the prison and had earned her General Education Degree and a paralegal certification.
The commutation order includes specific requirements that Barber must meet and sets her release day for March 24.
Commutations are recommended to the governor by the Juvenile Sentence Review Board that he established by executive order last year. The applications were reviewed by the Office of Executive Clemency, the Office of the General Counsel and the governor, the release said.
“North Carolina law continues to change to recognize that science is even more clear about immature brain development and decision making in younger people,” Cooper said in the release. “As people become adults, they can change, turn their lives around, and engage as productive members of society.”