The third and final man charged in the 2016 beating and fatal stabbing of a homeless man in a wheelchair outside a vacant building in Blythe Friday pleaded guilty on all counts.
Cody James Winn, 26, originally pleaded not guilty to murder and assault charges, as well as a felony count of possession of a billy club stemming from the Jan. 18, 2016, death of William Barbour in the parking lot of a vacant building on East Hobsonway in Blythe.
Winn was scheduled for a jury trial Friday, but withdrew the not guilty pleas on all counts and was immediately arraigned, court documents show. Following the guilty pleas, he requested immediate sentencing, which was granted.
Winn was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the killing, the same sentence given to co-defendants Blake Beach, 24, and Matthew Cotter, 27.
Winn is scheduled to re-appear in court March 1 to calculate how many days previously served in jail can be applied to his sentence. Beach was credited with 1,055 days of time served, while Cotter was credited with 1,054. They are expected to pay restitution to Barbour’s family from prison.
Prosecutors said Barbour suffered “23 sharp force injuries” to his body and “11 sharp force injuries and multiple blunt force injuries to the head and face,” according to a prosecutor’s trial brief.
Barbour’s skull “was crushed inward around the eyes and nose” and he suffered “multiple stab wounds around the left temple and eye and left chest,” prosecutors said
Within a day of the killing, surveillance footage from a gas station led investigators to identify and arrest the men, who prosecutors allege separately confessed to killing Barbour with a variety of knives and a billy club, according to the court document.
Blood from one of the knives and the billy club, both seized from Winn, matched Barbour, prosecutors said. A bloody butterfly knife also was seized from Beach, but DNA results were inconclusive.
Court documents did not mention a motive for the killing.
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