Originally created 09/19/06

Let the walls close in

Barton Corbin may see the light of day again.

But it should never be through anything but a hole in a concrete wall punctuated with steel bars.

It's just the same - the sun's warmth is wasted on him. This is no heat-of-passion killer; ice floes drift through his arctic blood. He coolly killed the woman in his life not once, but twice - each time staging a suicide.

He nearly got away with the first, too, though friends and family of Augusta dental student Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn never believed the ruse behind her June 6, 1990 shooting death. Then, when Corbin's estranged wife Jennifer also turned up dead in a similar supposed suicide Dec. 4, 2004, the light broke through and exposed Corbin for the calculating killer he is.

Recently it was learned that the gun used to kill Jennifer Corbin had been given to Barton Corbin by a friend just days before her killing.

Faced with the mounting evidence against him, a gathering jury - and an earlier judge's ruling that evidence in one killing could be used in the other - Corbin no doubt felt the walls closing in. So he took the best deal he could: two guilty pleas to malice murder, two life terms served at once, parole eligibility after 18 years.

Prosecutors say parole likely won't even be considered for 28 years, meaning when he is 70.

Even then, any light of day he sees should etch striped shadows on a cold and barren floor.


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