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A Man Tortured, Killed and Burned an Elderly Woman in a Mobile Home. Now, He Must Spend Decades Behind Bars.

California Man Sentenced for Killing an Elderly Woman in a Fire
Source: Tulare County District Attorney's Office; Mega

Anthony Barra will spend decades behind bars for the death of an elderly California woman.

Feb. 6 2024, Published 12:02 p.m. ET

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A California man tortured an elderly woman to death and then started a fire at a mobile home park. Now, he'll spend the next several decades behind bars for the crimes.

Investigators in Tulare County said Anthony Lawrence Barra, 24, was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to the scene of the homicide and arson after Carol Hendon, 74, was found dead.

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On Jan. 21. 2022, a patrol car was dispatched to investigate a suspicious person. An officer found a parked car with its doors and trunk open in the carport of the mobile home that “looked as if it had been rummaged through.”

When the officer stopped to investigate, they spotted smoke coming from the home. The officer tried to enter the residence but was pushed back by the flames and smoke. Crews later found Hendon dead inside, according to YourCentralalley.com.

The Tulare police and arson investigators took over the investigation regarding the fire because of the suspicious circumstances.

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Authorities made contact with Barra, who reportedly broke into a vehicle and was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

During the arrest, deputies said Barra had a gas can with him and violently resisted officers. He was later booked into county jail on charges of burglary, resisting an officer and a probation violation, according to The Tulare Police Department.

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In the week leading up to fire, there were a rash of dumpster fires, which authorities believed Barra may have set.

On the same day of Barra’s arrest, police served a search warrant at his home. Authorities collected evidence, and the Tulare Police later received confirmation that DNA evidence collected at the murder scene matched Barra.

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Detectives interviewed Barra and said he implicated himself in the attack and provided intimate details about Hendon's death.

Barra was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated arson, torture and destroying or concealing evidence, according to the Tulare County Public Defender's Office.

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In September 2023, Barra pleaded no contest to first-degree murder with the special allegation of use of a deadly weapon and felony elder abuse resulting in death, officials said.

At the beginning of February, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office announced that the County Superior Court sentenced Barra to life in prison. He must serve 29 years before being considered for parole.

Since he has taken into custody, Barra has pleaded no contest to assault and battery in connection with the attack of correctional deputies in two separate cases, one in 2022 and the other last year.

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