VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man who told authorities where to find a Florida woman he fatally stabbed in July 2018 was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison nearly four years later, the 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Matthew Barber, 49 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to and was convicted of the second-degree murder of 58-year-old Hilda G. Bailey, first-degree arson while armed with a firearm and armed burglary with a firearm in two different cases from July 2018, the Flagler-Volusia State Attorney’s Office said.
Barber was initially arrested in Hillsville, Virginia on July 10, 2018, after police said he was caught speeding and driving at night without his lights on in the victim’s car, leading officers on a brief pursuit before exiting the vehicle with a knife in hand. Officers arrested him after deploying their stun guns, the arrest report shows.
While police took Barber to jail, he told them he was fleeing because he was suspected of murder in Florida, an arrest report shows.
According to investigators, at the Volusia County jail, he told the nurse that he murdered someone and they didn’t deserve it. A corrections officer from the New River Valley Regional Jail then notified Volusia County authorities that Barber had given them an Orange City address where someone could be seriously injured, the report shows.
Upon performing a well-being check at the 2555 Enterprise Drive address in the Orange City Flats Sub division, police said they discovered Bailey dead inside her apartment.