Originally created 09/16/06

Corbin admits killing women, staging suicide



LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - A suburban Atlanta dentist abruptly changed his story Friday, admitting he killed his wife two years ago the same way he killed his Augusta girlfriend in 1990 - arranging her murder to look like a suicide.

Barton Corbin, 42, who was to be tried for both slayings, said he shot his wife, Jennifer, then staged the murder scene to look like a suicide. He said it was the same thing he did 16 years before when he killed fellow dental student Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn in her Augusta apartment.

Dr. Corbin's sudden admission came two days after Gwinnett County prosecutors secured new evidence tying him to the gun used to kill his wife, a 33-year-old mother of two boys and one-time schoolteacher.

Augusta District Attorney Danny Craig said discussions of a plea began about a month ago and became more earnest after Dr. Corbin became aware of the state's evidence involving the source of the gun used to kill Mrs. Corbin.

On Wednesday, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter went to Troy, Ala., and spoke with Richard Wilson, a friend of Dr. Corbin. Mr. Wilson taped a statement admitting that he had given Dr. Corbin the gun three days before Mrs. Corbin was found dead. Mr. Wilson likely will not face charges because he did not know what the gun would be used for, Mr. Porter said.

Mr. Porter offered Dr. Corbin a plea agreement that included a life sentence in prison for each of the deaths. Those two sentences will run at the same time.

Mr. Porter said Dr. Corbin would be eligible for parole in 18 years but likely not be considered for parole until 28 years.

Related on the Web

- Hearn family site: http://www.kudcom.com/dolly/