Man accused of killing wife ordered held on $2 million bail

Man accused of killing wife ordered held on $2 million bail
TACOMA, Wash. - A man who prosecutors say killed his wife and called KOMO News to ask that killing be posted on Facebook has now been charged with her murder.

In court on Monday, Tony Barrett, sporting a tattoo with the name of his wife Sara, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping. He was ordered to remain held on $2 million bail.

Prosecutors revealed Monday that Sara Barrett had filed for divorce just days before she was killed and that Sara had been concerned for her life. She told Tony Barrett's current girlfriend a week before the murder that she was becoming increasingly afraid of her husband, investigators said.

Police began searching for Sara late Wednesday after her husband called KOMO News and said he had killed her.

He said he wanted a message put on Facebook: "I just killed my wife ... I want you to put it on your Facebook."

KOMO News then immediately notified police.

Deputies found Sara's car at her workplace, a Pier 1 Imports distribution center in Dupont. Inside the car officers saw what they believed to be blood.

Police in Tacoma spotted Tony's truck early Thursday but he sped off, leading officers on a chase across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at speeds approaching 100 mph. Officers had to use spike stripes to bring the chase to an end.

Officials said Tony got out of the truck and attacked officers with a crowbar before he was subdued. His wife's body was found strangled a short time later at a Motel 6 in Tacoma.

On Monday in Pierce County Superior Court, Barrett didn't speak and hid his face behind a piece of paper to shield it from the media. But his right bicep was visible through his dark green smock, revealing a tattoo bearing the name of his slain wife Sara.

Court records show that Tony Barrett also was charged with attacking his wife for unexplained reasons in 2007, holding a pillow over her face until she nearly suffocated.

The couple's grown son broke down the bedroom door and stopped the attack, according to court records, and Tony Barrett fled from the home when he learned police were on the way.

He later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for that attack, serving one day in jail and two years under Department of Corrections supervision.

He was ordered not to have any "hostile contact" with Sara Barrett for five years. That order expired on Feb. 25.

Barrett's next court appearance is scheduled for April 25 with trial set to begin on May 13.