Barrett seeking new trial in Des Prez case

Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 11:45pm

Update: The hearing scheduled this morning for convicted murderer Jerome Barrett's request for a new trial for the 1975 murder of Sarah Des Prez has been continued until Jan. 19.

Convicted killer Jerome Barrett, the man that separate juries convicted for the 1975 murders of 9-year-old Marcia Trimble and Vanderbilt University student Sarah "Sally" Des Prez, is petitioning the court for another trial. 

Barrett is scheduled to appear today before Davidson County Criminal Court and argue a motion for a retrial for the Des Prez case on the grounds he had ineffective counsel.

Barrett initially requested a new trial for the Des Prez killing this summer, before the start of the Trimble trial. In June, he submitted a 10-page handwritten document outlining 14 reasons why his defense attorney, Kerry Haymaker, was ineffective.

Haymaker submitted a separate motion to be dropped from the case as the attorney of record, which was granted by Criminal Court Judge Steven Dozier earlier this year.

Barrett was appointed a public defender to argue why he should be granted a new trial for the Des Prez case. In January, after a thre-day trial, a jury found Barrett guilty of Des Prez’s death.

In 1975, 19-year-old Des Prez was found murdered in her apartment, but the case was unsolved for more than three decades. Police did not arrest Barrett until 2007, when police matched DNA found on Des Prez’s bed with a sample from the suspect.

In addition to his convictions for Des Prez’s and Trimble’s deaths, Barrett also previously served a 26-year prison sentence for the rape of a Belmont University student.