Woman sentenced to prison in deadly homeless camp attack

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The woman who instigated a deadly Burlington beating was sentenced Tuesday. Myia Barber was charged, along with four others, in the murder of Amos Beede last year.

His family members battled back tears and detailed their great pain after the violent loss of their loved one. "Everyday I cry. I cry because they just tore my heart -- they tore a piece of my heart away," said Lisa Beede, Amos' sister.

On the day one of five people was sentenced for their part in a deadly backwoods beating, the family of Amos Beede described their devastating loss. "No phone calls. No visiting. No family get-togethers," said Ina McKinney, Amos' sister.

The 38-year-old Beede was murdered in May of last year at a homeless camp in Burlington following a dispute over feces and urine throwing. Police said the transgender man from Milton suffered facial fractures, several broken bones, and head trauma. Prosecutors argued that Myia Barber instigated the attack, leading others to his tent before participating in the beating.

"It's horrific. It's heinous. It's probably one of the worst attacks and homicides that I've ever seen," said Vermont Superior Court Judge Nancy Waples, who accepted a guilty plea from Barber to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

It was part of an agreement Barber struck with the state. "No number of years will ever bring Amos back," said Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George.

Barber was sentenced to a minimum of a decade in state prison. She offered a courtroom apology. "I just want to say how truly sorry I am that I let any of this happen," she said.

"There's no apology for something like this," McKinney said.

"I hope that everyday you will think about how you devastated a family -- how you devastated the siblings of Amos Beede," Judge Waples said.

Beede was one of seven siblings. His family continues to console each other outside courtrooms hearing after hearing, and there's still three more murder suspects that haven't yet been convicted. "It's going to be a long haul, and we can only take one day at a time," McKinney said.

Barber's defense attorney said she suffers from depression and substance abuse, and is seeking treatment while incarcerated. The last of the depositions in those three separate cases are scheduled for early next year.