A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Dupree Pierre Barber of first-degree murder in the Jan. 23, 2012, shooting death of Steve Ebert while the victim was going to work as the maintenance superintendent for the Cordova Recreation and Park District.
Barber, 49, had recently been laid off from his job as an employee of the park district, and prosecutors said that in a meeting he had angrily blamed Ebert, 59, for the loss of his job.
According to evidence at trial, Barber specially purchased a car for the purpose of killing Ebert. He then drove up on his former boss around 6 a.m. on the day of the killing and shot Ebert six times with a handgun as he was pulling into his work site at Hagan Community Park in Rancho Cordova. The car, which Barber badly damaged in his getaway from the park, was recovered close by with the murder weapon inside, authorities said.
Jurors reached their verdict after deliberating a total of one hour and 25 minutes over two days.
Judge Patrick Marlette scheduled Barber's sentencing for Aug. 28. Barber is facing life in prison with no chance of parole, under the special-circumstance allegation that he was lying in wait for Ebert.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dupree Pierre Barber. Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee