Editor's note: This article's headline was revised Sept. 24 to correct the relationship between Joseph Wayer III and Barbara A. Sheppard. The Elkhart Truth regrets the error.
SOUTH BEND — A Goshen man convicted of murder was sentenced Monday, Sept. 23, in St. Joseph Superior Court 8.
Joseph Wayer III, 38, was sentenced to 60 years in prison. He was charged with murder Feb. 15, 2012. He was found guilty Aug. 23 following a jury trial.
Wayer was accused of killing his ex-wife, Barbara A. Sheppard, 33, whose body was found Dec. 22, 2011, in an alley near Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco Store at Lincolnway and Byrkit in Mishawaka.
During his sentencing hearing, Wayer said he plans to appeal his conviction. He was found indigent and was appointed an attorney from the public defender’s office.
During their investigation, police learned Sheppard had left the store at about 8 p.m.
When she didn’t arrive home, her family and friends started looking for her and called the Mishawaka Police Department.
Sheppard died of a sharp-instrument injury to her neck.
Wayer and Sheppard had finalized their divorce nine days prior to Sheppard’s death. According to the probable cause affidavit for Wayer’s arrest, he had sent threats to Sheppard online.
In an interview with police Wayer had admitted he sent threats to his ex-wife online, and confirmed he was upset with her, but that he would never harm her. He said he had not seen Sheppard in several months.
After agreeing to provide police a sample of his DNA, a forensic scientist found that it matched with the DNA of hair fibers that were found in Sheppard’s right hand.