Man accused of murdering woman at Vancouver senior home found de - KPTV - FOX 12

Man accused of murdering woman at Vancouver senior home found dead in jail

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David James Barker, prior jail booking photo David James Barker, prior jail booking photo
Columbia House Apartments, senior housing facility in Vancouver where Sharon Allison was killed in May 2015. (FOX 12 file image) Columbia House Apartments, senior housing facility in Vancouver where Sharon Allison was killed in May 2015. (FOX 12 file image)
Sharon Allison (Photo: Vancouver PD) Sharon Allison (Photo: Vancouver PD)
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A man accused of murdering a 66-year-old woman at a Vancouver home for seniors was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent suicide.

Sharon Allison was found dead at the Columbia House Apartments, a subsidized facility for seniors operated by the Vancouver Housing Authority, on May 9, 2015.

DNA evidence led to the arrest of David James Barker in March. The U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force took Barker, listed as homeless, into custody in Portland on the charge of second-degree murder.

The charge was later increased to first-degree murder.

Barker was found unresponsive in his Clark County Jail cell the morning of July 7. Investigators said Barker had told other inmates of his plan to commit suicide, but it was not reported to corrections workers.

"It is extremely frustrating that in this case, as well as our other recent suicides, we've learned that friends, family members or other inmates knew of the suicide plans but never reported the pending suicide to the jail," said Sheriff Chuck Atkins. "We have multiple layers of suicide prevention in place but a crucial part of that is the simple act of letting us know if your loved one or your cellmate is planning to harm themselves."

The 24-hour phone number to report a safety concern at the jail is 360-397-2207.

A motive for the killing of Allison was not released at the time of Barker's arrest. Court documents state Allison had suffered a traumatic brain injury years ago that left her with mental and physical disabilities. She was also described as naively trusting and vulnerable to be taken advantage of by someone.

Barker was scheduled to face trial for Allison's murder in October. The case is now closed.

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