May 7, 2012
Contact: Zach Morrison  
(870) 932-1513

JONESBORO, AR—Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced that Terrance Odell Barker, one of three defendants charged in the killing of a Jonesboro businessman last August, pled guilty today in Craighead County Circuit Court.

Ellington said that Barker admitted his guilt to one count of first degree murder in the murder for hire killing of Marc Despain, a real estate investor and appraiser. In exchange for Barker’s guilty plea and promise of truthful testimony against his two co-defendants in the case, prosecutors reduced his charge from capital murder to first degree murder and recommended that he be sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.

“The State reached an agreement with Mr. Barker’s defense attorneys this morning that led to today’s guilty plea,” Ellington stated. “Negotiations have been ongoing for approximately 10 days. With Barker’s promise of truthful testimony against Carl Kelley and Johnny Hubbard, the State agreed to 35 years imprisonment for Barker.”

Sentencing for Barker will be delayed until the September court appearance when co-defendants Kelley and Hubbard are scheduled to appear. Ellington added that Despain’s parents, Jack and Tana, approved the plea agreement.

“This plea agreement, which was approved by the deceased’s parents, will allow the State to move forward in reaching justice for Marc Despain,” Ellington said.

The State was represented by Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington and Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michael Walden. Barker was represented by attorneys Danny Glover of Wynne and Joe Perry of Marianna.