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Woman admits to involuntary manslaughter in homeless camp death

 Myia Barber
Myia Barber (WCAX)
Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM EDT
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Another plea deal in the slaying of a transgender man at a Burlington homeless camp. Myia Barber is one of five people accused in the May 2016 killing. Thursday, she appeared in court to take a plea deal just one week before she was set to go to trial.

Twenty-three year old Myia Barber pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the brutal beating death of Amos Beede.

"Ms. Barber came to us looking to take responsibility for her part, that's what we did. We really went through to say, not in general what did they all do in this horrendous crime, but what did Ms. Barber do," said Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George.

The change in plea comes after Barber told the state everything that had happened.

Barber said she engineered the attack because Beede poured urine on a tent she shared with Erik Averill.

"In order to show how much she really had to do with his death, I think a manslaughter charge is appropriate," George said.

Barber told prosecutors she encouraged Averill to get revenge. Barber says she led the group and was the one to pull Beede out of the tent. She threw the first punch, kicked Beede while he was on the ground. Then she says she stood and watched her four friends viciously beat Beede.

Now Barber could spend 10-years in prison.

"I'd like her to think about what she did every single day, and think about what Amos went through, and and I think this outcome will allow for that," George said.

As for the other people involved, Alison Gee pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in March and was sentenced to five years in jail--up to 10 years if she violates her probation. The second degree murder cases against Erik Averill, Jordan Paul, and Amber Dennis are pending. They all pleaded not guilty.

"It's entirely up to the defendants if they want to take responsibility for it. If they do, we're happy to have the same conversation about they're involvement when they ask for it.

Beede's family was in court, but declined to comment until after Barber's sentencing.

"From the state's perspective this is a good outcome for Ms. Barber's case, but that doesn't change the ultimate outcome. I think we are very cognizant of the fact that any number or any charge doesn't bring Amos back," George said.