WASHINGTON - A Virginia man convicted of killing a southeast woman in a vicious attack 32 years ago was sentenced on Friday to 20 plus years in prison.
Joe Barber-- who had previously spent time in prison for rape-- was connected to the murder of Rachel Cox through DNA.
On Friday during an emotional court hearing, Cox's daughter finally had the chance to confront the man who took away her mom. “I can tell you is I wouldn't wish this on nobody,” Rachel’s daughter said. “I have been devastated by this for a long time and I feel like nobody can know what I am feeling unless they walk in my shoes."
On New Year’s Eve 1984, Lynne Cox made sure it was okay with her mother before she left the house to go celebrate the New Year with friends – she had no idea what she was going to come home to afterwards. "There was a group of us, we were just hanging out with one of my friend’s house before we even went on to the next house, so ever since then I just wish that I went home,” said Lynne. “I wish that I had stayed home, maybe if ii had stayed home and this fool was trying to get in the house, maybe I could have saved her."
So many emotions – all those years – more than 30 of them not knowing what happened to her mother that night. It would remain a mystery until DNA evidence pointed to Joe Barber, a man who had spent time in prison for raping a ten year old girl.
Rachel Cox was attacked inside of an apartment in southeast on New Year ’s Eve in 1983 and it was a vicious assault, she had her hands tied around her back, she was raped and she was stabbed 12 times, the killer leaving her for dead, half naked on the floor.
Lynne was an only child – when her mother was gone her world was crushed, she moved in with her godmother and had to leave her beloved dog Muffin behind. "You can't get over your mother, my mother loved me and I loved her, there is no way anyone is going to tell me I am going to get over it I am not".
Confronting the man who did the horrible crime to her mother was a step in the right direction toward justice for Lynne and the wound patched up just a little bit more. Lynne told FOX 5 that when she was looking at Barber in court all she wanted to scream was, “how dare you! How dare you put your hands on my mother what is wrong with you.”
Barber is now 58 years old – he walks with a cane and will quite possibly die in prison. Lynne said she doesn’t like the fact that Barber is still denying the crime, but she is happy that she can finally get some type of closure after all these years.