Andalusia man convicted, sentenced for murder

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Andalusia man has been convicted and sentenced to life without parole for a 2009 murder, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Michael Dayle Barbaree, 31, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Covington County Circuit Court to the murder of Travis Denton Sasser, 75.

The AG’s office reported that Barbaree lived in an apartment at the Sasser residence and on May 14, 2009, he entered the Sasser home, allegedly stealing items including a pistol and money.

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Barbaree beat Sasser to death with a hammer, then tried to burn the home down with Sasser’s bedridden wife trapped inside, the AG’s office said.

A caregiver arrived at the home and called for help, but it was too late for Merita Ann Sasser, 71. She died after being transported to the hospital.

“This was a savage attack that cost the lives of an elderly couple,” said Attorney General Luther Strange. “It is appropriate that he spend the rest of his own life in prison, without the possibility of parole or the opportunity to harm anyone else.”

Barbaree was indicted in September of 2009 for the Sasser murder. His criminal history includes eight prior felony convictions for burglary, forgery, theft, escape and other crimes, all in Covington County, the AG’s office reported.