MAYS LANDING — The woman charged in the fatal beating and robbery of her grandmother and mother in their Ventnor high-rise condo agreed Thursday to be held in jail as she awaits trial, eliciting relief from her two uncles.
At a detention hearing before Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury, Heather Barbera, 41, of Ventnor, consented to an application by the Prosecutor’s Office last week for pretrial detention and was remanded to the Atlantic County jail.
Barbera is charged with two counts of murder, third-degree possession of a weapon — a nightstick — for an unlawful purpose and robbery in the double homicide of Elaine Rosen and Michelle Gordon.
Lewis Rosen, 61, of Galloway Township, said he was nervous before the hearing but felt better knowing his niece will remain in jail.
“When I was with my niece, I never felt in danger,” Rosen said, describing Barbera as a sweet kid in a phone interview. “But I never anticipated this.”
In his decision, DeLury outlined the evidence against Barbera, including security footage from the condo that places her at the crime scene after the murders, the weapon used to kill the two women and a statement from Barbera with “apparent admissions of the homicides.”
“The defendant has manifested extreme violence in this case, bespeaking a present danger to the community,” DeLury said.
Elaine Rosen, 87, and Gordon, 67, were found dead at 10:25 a.m. July 8 inside a condo at the Vassar Square Arms luxury high-rise at 4800 Boardwalk, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said. Richard Rosen, 50, of Brooklyn, New York, said he found the bodies after he was unable to reach his sister and mother by phone.
“I’m happy she’s in jail,” Richard Rosen said in a phone interview before declining to comment further.
For both victims, the cause of death was multiple blunt-impact injuries and the manner of death was homicide, Tyner said.
Barbera was extradited Aug. 2 from New York, where police said she fled after the double homicide. She was arrested by New York City police July 11 at the Midtown Manhattan Port Authority and was held in the Rose M. Singer women’s facility on Rikers Island.