Pretrial conference postponed for Heather Barbera

Heather Barbera appeared in court on Thursday for fatal beating of mother, grandmother but is postponed to Monday at 1:30pm. Aug. 15, 2019 (Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer)

MAYS LANDING — The Ventnor woman charged in the fatal nightstick killing and robbery of her mother and grandmother has her trial date pushed back to Nov. 12.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Ann Crater said that the state is going to present the case for a second time to a grand jury next week. 

Heather Barbera, 42, who has pleaded not guilty to charges that include two counts of first-degree murder, is scheduled to appear in Atlantic County Superior Court in front of Judge Bernard E. DeLury.

Prosecutors allege Barbera beat Elaine Rosen, 87, and Rosen’s daughter, Michelle Gordon, 67, to death before robbing them July 8, 2018, inside a condo at the Vassar Square Arms luxury condominiums in Ventnor.

For both victims, the cause of death was multiple blunt-impact injuries and the manner of death was homicide, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said at the time.

Barbera’s attorneys, brothers James and Matthew Leonard, have been in talks with Assistant Prosecutor Anne Crater on a plea deal in the case, which has carried on for over a year since the two women died. Hearings have been postponed multiple times due to scheduling and negotiations.

“We are working diligently to resolve this matter without a trial,” Matthew Leonard said after a pretrial conference in August.

Barbera was arrested by New York City police July 11, 2018, at the Midtown Manhattan Port Authority and was held in the Rose M. Singer women’s facility on Rikers Island before she was extradited to Atlantic County last August.

She was indicted Oct. 17 on two counts of first-degree murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and first-degree robbery by inflicting bodily injury.

Barbera is being held at the Atlantic County jail.

Conviction of a first-degree crime carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison.

Contact: 609-272-7241

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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