Barbara Pasa

Barbara Pasa, center, stands up following the reading of the verdict, as Appanoose County Sheriff Gary Anderson prepares to place her in handcuffs Wednesday.

Barbara Pasa faces sentencing following a jury conviction for murder and arson on Friday. On the same day, judge will hear arguments in a motion by her lawyers for a new trial.

Barbara Pasa, 47, of Centerville, was convicted by a Monroe County jury in the May 2018 killing of her husband, Timothy Pasa.

The verdict came on Sept. 25. While the conviction on a first-degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence in prison without parole, the conviction on first-degree arson carries prison time up to 25 years.

Thus, Barbara Pasa was entitled by rights to a pre-sentence investigation report, which was filed under seal Tuesday.

Judge Sean Showers, who presided over the trial, will determine sentencing on Friday at an 11 a.m. hearing in Monroe County.

He will also hear a motion by Barbara Pasa’s attorneys for a new trial.

In a motion filed Saturday, Barbara Pasa’s appointed attorney James Beres said the evidence does not prove Barbara Pasa killed her husband.

The two-page motion says testimony from the state’s medical examiner, Dr. Dennis Klein, and nurse anesthetist Dustin Bozwell determined several factors in regards to propofol.

Those points, the defense argues, include that the drug propofol — ruled the cause of Timothy Pasa’s death — must be administered through the veins, through a larger gauged needle, that such administration would be painful, and that propofol is used as a recreational drug.

Beres also argues in his motion that the lack of muscle relaxers or pain-killing anesthetics in the toxicology report of Timothy Pasa is additional exculpatory evidence that should have led to the jury acquitting Barbara Pasa of the charges.

“It is speculative to conclude that Tim Pasa was otherwise disabled by administration of muscle relaxers, or anesthetics,” Beres’ motion reads. “The toxicology testing performed does not support that conclusion. ... For the foregoing reasons, there is reasonable doubt Barbara Pasa could have administered the propofol found through the toxicology testing. The verdict of the jury is contrary to the weight of the evidence.”

As of Wednesday, the state had not yet filed a resistance. The sides will address the motion on Friday.

The jury of seven women and five men found Barbara Pasa guilty after about three hours of deliberation over two days.

Authorities were called to the Pasa household at 828 S. Park Ave. in Centerville on May 5, 2018. They found Timothy Pasa dead in the residence. An autopsy determined there was no smoke in Timothy Pasa’s lungs and that the cause of death was related to a propofol injection.

Propofol, the same drug blamed for the death of Michael Jackson, is an anesthetic used in surgeries. Barbara Pasa was a circulating nurse in the surgery department at MercyOne Centerville Medical Center at the time of Tim Pasa’s death.

Prior to his death, the couple was considering a divorce, per testimony from Barbara Pasa and others during the trial. She also had recently increased the life insurance she carried on Timothy Pasa.

Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker

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Editor

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian. Prior to becoming editor, Ocker was a correspondent, sports editor and associate editor at the Daily Iowegian, and was the managing editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express.

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