Man charged in attempted murder suicide

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2012



HAHNVILLE – A Norco man who shot his estranged wife in the head before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder/suicide last month was charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Otto Barrera, 46, of 35 Good Hope St., remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at University Hospital in New Orleans, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes. Barrera’s wife Catherine, whom Barrera is accused of shooting inside his home on June 24, is also still in the ICU in critical condition. Yoes said it is not yet clear when either will be able to leave the hospital.

According to a release from the Sheriff’s Office, Barrera and his wife were inside his home when an argument took place on the evening of June 24. Authorities said the couple had previously separated and the woman moved out of state but returned to stay with her children because Barrera was going out of town. The Sheriff’s Office had no prior reports of trouble or violence between the couple, said Sheriff Greg Champagne in an email, but neighbors said the couple had been having marital trouble for quite some time.

Yoes said the couple’s teenage daughter, who witnessed the shooting, told deputies her father grabbed a gun and shot her mother once in the head. The daughter then ran to a neighbor’s house for help. When deputies got to the home, they called for Barrera to come out of the house. Yoes said Barrera was able to walk out of the home despite having shot himself in the face.

Yoes said Barrera will be booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility in Killona upon his release from the hospital.