LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – A dentist recently charged with killing his college girlfriend in 1990 was indicted for the similar shooting death of his estranged wife, whose family's refusal to believe she committed suicide prompted a new look at the earlier death.
A grand jury indicted Dr. Barton Corbin (search) on Wednesday on charges of felony murder, murder and a firearms violation in the death of his wife, Jennifer, a preschool teacher. The couple's 7-year-old son found her body Dec. 4 in the family's home in the northwest Atlanta suburb of Buford. She had been shot in the head and a revolver was found next to her on a bed.
News of Jennifer Corbin's (search) death led investigators in Augusta to look closer at the 1990 death of Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn (search), a fellow dental student who was Barton Corbin's girlfriend. That case was presented to a grand jury and Corbin was indicted Dec. 22 with felony and malice murder in Hearn's death.
A gag order was issued in the Corbin case Wednesday, preventing attorneys and others connected to the investigation from talking to the media about the case.
"Dr. Corbin maintains his innocence and will continue to fight these charges," his attorney, Bruce Harvey, said.
Jennifer Corbin's family pushed for the latest indictment against her husband, refusing to believe that she killed herself and raising suspicions about Hearn's death years ago.
Court records show Barton Corbin, 41, had filed for a divorce from Jennifer Corbin, 33, on Nov. 29, seeking custody of their two sons and ownership of their home. Affidavits filed after Jennifer Corbin's death by several family members allege that Barton Corbin had called his wife names and punched her in the face in front of their children.
Three days before she was found shot to death, Jennifer Corbin called 911 to report a fight with her husband. During the call, she told a dispatcher that her husband had left their home with some of her personal belongings and a shotgun.
Barton Corbin was one of several people questioned in Hearn's suspicious death in 1990. Authorities initially thought Hearn shot herself in the head but they later said the cause of death was undetermined.
At the time, Hearn was dating Corbin, while both were dental students at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Hearn was found dead with a .38-caliber handgun that her father had given her for protection found in her lap.