Prosecution and defense attorneys gave their opening statements today in the murder trial of Dupree Pierre Barber, who is accused in the Jan. 23, 2012, shooting death of Rancho Cordova park district maintenance superintendent Steven Ebert.
Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard laid out the prosecution's case. He told jurors to expect to hear a steady stream of evidence against the 49-year-old defendant, a laid-off employee of the Cordova Recreation and Park District who had a "very hostile" relationship with Elbert, his 59-year-old boss.
Norgaard told jurors the evidence will show that Barber purchased a car believed to have been used in the killing a few days before Ebert was fatally shot near the park's maintenance office at Hagan Community Park. Investigators located the car close to the homicide scene and found a gun inside that matched up to a bullet recovered from where Ebert was shot, Norgaard said. Automobile wreckage discovered near the shooting location also pieced up to what the prosecution described as the car Barber used to drive up on Ebert and shoot him.
Prior to the shooting, Barber, who is African American, had filed a racial discrimination suit against the park district. Barber ultimately withdrew the suit that had named Ebert as a defendant.
Assistant Public Defender John Perkins, in his opening statement, did not outline Barber's defense. Perkins asked the jury to listen to the evidence and to keep an open mind during the trial.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dupree Pierre Barber. Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee