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Adams, Barrett sentenced to life

By Staff
CUFFED n Mary Ann Adams and her brother, John Barrett, are escorted to the Lauderdale County Detention Facility by State Investigator Danny Knight after a jury convicted them Saturday of the 1998 murder of Mary Ann Woolf. Photo by Marianne Todd
Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Feb. 11, 2001
Mary Ann Adams and her brother, John Barrett, were sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison Saturday, convicted of murder.
The verdicts were returned by a Lauderdale County Circuit Court jury at 11:30 a.m., after five days of testimony and nine hours of jury deliberations. Tensions ran high among spectators as jurors exited the jury room, each wearing a somber face, and tears fell from family members on both sides of the courtroom as the verdicts were read.
Adams and Barrett showed little emotion upon hearing the verdicts and the life sentences handed down by Circuit Court Judge Larry Roberts.
The verdicts ended a three-year ordeal for the family members of Mary Ann Woolf, the former friend Adams and Barrett were convicted of killing in order to recover money from a life insurance policy.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Howell said the sentence means both Adams and Barrett will not be eligible for parole, although they have the right to appeal the decision.
Public defender Stewart Parrish said Barrett's motions for an appeal will be filed next week through Attorney Jim Williams.
Adams' attorney, Charles Wright, had no comment.
Woolf's daughter, Andrea Franklin, who testified during the trial, said she is satisfied with the sentence.
Howell said she phoned District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell, who was attending his son's soccer match in Laurel shortly after the verdict was read.
Howell said prosecutors will next seek a conviction for Jefferson Long, accused as an accessory after the fact of Woolf's death. Investigators in the case say they believe Long helped Barrett create an alibi.
Howell said she is not sure of the date of that trial.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.