Prosecutors: Woman used nightstick to beat mother, grandmother to death

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A woman has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and murder in the beating deaths of her mother and grandmother last year in their Ventnor home.

Heather Barbera, 42, tearfully entered her pleas Tuesday in the July 2018 deaths of Michelle Gordon, 67, and Elaine Rosen, 87.

According to prosecutors, Barbera, who also had been living in the home, used a nightstick to beat the victims to death.

The Atlantic County prosecutor's office says a plea agreement calls for her to be imprisoned for 42 years and ineligible for parole for four decades, when prosecutors noted she will be "well into her 80s."

Defense attorney James Leonard says "a very dysfunctional family dynamic" led to "an absolute horrific series of events that ended tragically for everyone involved."

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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