ALBIA — A jury of seven women and five men are deliberating whether a Centerville woman is guilty in a murder-arson case, and will continue to deliberate Wednesday morning.
Barbara Pasa, 47, of Centerville, was charged in May 2018 with killing her husband Timothy Pasa and then setting their home on fire with his body inside.
The jury began their deliberations Tuesday, leaving the courtroom at 2:50 p.m. following closing remarks from attorneys. They ended for the day shortly before 5 p.m. and will return to continue deliberations between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Wednesday
There were some delays in getting underway Tuesday morning as attorneys debated on jury instructions.
Pasa is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict on both counts.
However, the jury will be able to render verdicts to lesser charges of either count.
Pasa's lawyer James Beres argued in his closing remarks Tuesday that Tim Pasa used propofol recreationally, and injected himself after Pasa left the home the morning of May 5, 2018.
"It's a hard thing to say," Beres said. "It's a hard thing to hear, that Tim Pasa probably did it."
Beres said that the candle started the fire, asking the jury not to hold testimony by the state fire marshal as true merely because of his title or job as a government official.
Assistant attorney general Scott Brown delivered the prosecution's closing argument and rebuttal argument. He said experts, like Dave Linkletter from the state's fire marshal's office, should be trusted given their experience.
Brown also argued that it would not be possible for Tim Pasa to have both injected a dose of propofol that was ultimately fatal, and start the fire.
"Our burden here is to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, first-degree murder and first-degree arson," Brown said. "Not to disprove every single thing the defense throws up here. ... Consider what Mr. Beres said. ... But you have to look at it in the context of the actual evidence here, not just because some lawyer says it. You got to look at what the evidence is, and what it proves..."
Evidence, Brown said, leads to only one conclusion: that Barbara Pasa killed her husband Tim Pasa and sat their home on fire. He said the couple was having financial issues, and through Tim Pasa's life insurance policy Barbara Pasa stood to gain $200,000 and also would be able to avoid going through a divorce.
Brown argued that there would have been no other time for someone other than Barbara Pasa to kill her husband. Nor would there have even been time for an accident to unfold, he said.
Testimony in the case indicated that the couple's only two children had left the home by 6:30 a.m. the morning of May 5, 2018. They were going to board a school bus that would take them to Creston for a soccer tournament.
On the stand Monday, Barbara Pasa testified that she realized during the trial she would have left the home at 7:08 a.m. that morning. She corresponded the time with a text she had sent to her daughter saying she was running late. Barbara Pasa said she sent that text message as she was pulling out of her driveway.
Meghan Decena, who drove by the residence at approximately 7:20 a.m. that morning, said she noticed Barbara Pasa's Buick Enclave still parked in the garage at the residence at that time.
Barbara Pasa was later seen on ATM surveillance video at Farmer's Bank of Northern Missouri at approximately 7:25 a.m. She testified that she withdrew money there before leaving Centerville en route to Creston for the soccer tournament.