Jury: Man killed wife, girl over paternity results

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(WGHP File Photo)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A Southern California jury has convicted a man of murdering his wife and their 6-year-old daughter after a paternity test revealed the child was not his.

The Riverside County jury found 55-year-old Michael Barbar guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder in the November 2009 case.

Prosecutors say Barbar, who had raised the child since birth, smashed her head against a bedpost and strangled his wife eight days after finding out the girl was not his.

Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, which makes Barbar eligible for the death penalty.

The penalty phase of the trial begins July 30.

Barbar’s attorney had asked the jury to find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which would have eliminated the possibility of the death penalty.

Source: The Associated Press