Two people who fatally slit a man's throat and threw his body into a stream for $50 went to prison for life.
A West Virginia judge sentenced Robert J. Quinn, 45, and Laura Lynn Martin, 38, each to life plus 180 years in prison after they were convicted of the grisly crime, according to WVNews.com. They were accused of killing their neighbor, Philip "Bucky" Barlow, on May 28, 2019.
Quinn and Martin said they needed cash because their electricity was about to be turned off, WVNews.com reported.
According to Preston Sheriff's Office Capt. T.N. Tichnell and Prosecuting Attorney Jay Shay, Quinn and Martin dragged Barlow into the rear seat of his truck before taking him to a remote area in Preston County.
There, at Fortney's Mill, the duo took Barlow under a bridge and slit his throat with a box cutter and threw his body into a stream. While being dragged into the truck, Barlow reportedly fought for his life and told the perpetrators that he knew who they were despite the fact they were wearing masks and gloves, WVNews.com reported.
“Bucky was fighting for his life,” Tichnell said.
Barlow's body was found at Fortney's Mill 10 days later by hunter training their dogs there. Police say the nature of the deep cuts on Barlow's neck indicated a much more sinister killing. “I absolutely believe they tried to decapitate him.”
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Martin took $50 from Barlow's person, and police say they used the man's lunchbox to rinse his blood off of rocks, according to WVNews.com.
“And still with Bucky’s blood on their hands, they ate Bucky’s sandwiches,” Tichnell said Martin told a cellmate. According to WVNews.com, she told inmates “that he gurgled like a frog and that she wanted to hear that again.”
WVNews.com reported that the duo attempted to burn Barlow's truck by drenching it in oil before lighting it on fire. They then went to the convenience store and bought sodas and cigarettes before going home to shower and burn their clothes.
On May 29, Quinn and Martin told cops that they hadn't seen Barlow, WVNews.com reported. “They still probably had Bucky’s blood under their fingernails at that point,” Tichnell said. According to the outlet, both confessed 500 days later, though they each blamed each other while not admitting to who slit Barlow's throat.
According to WDTV, Quinn and Martin both pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
Barlow was just about to retire from truck driving when he was killed, according to WVNews.com.
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