Prosecutor: Man killed wife, daughter after paternity test

A Southern California man strangled his wife and bludgeoned his 6-year-old daughter to death after a paternity test showed the girl was not his biological child, prosecutors said.

Deputy District Attorney John Aki told a Riverside courtroom Thursday that Michael Barbar, 54, of Perris received the test results eight days before strangling his wife and smashing the girl's head into a bedpost repeatedly until her skull was crushed in 2009.

Barbar was then planning to kill his wife's lover in Texas and flee to Lebanon but was stopped by police in New Mexico, the Press-Enterprise reported.

Eric Keen, Barbar's defense attorney, said the killings of 43-year-old Maysam Barbar and 6-year-old Tamara were not planned but carried out in an uncontrollable rage. He asked jurors to find his client guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

The trial is expected to resume Monday.

On Thursday, Barbar's 13-year-old daughter Tarah testified that heard her younger sister's cries and her father marching up and down the stairs carrying garbage bags as she lay in bed the night of the killings. The next morning, she found her sister's bed covered in blood and her mother's room locked, she said.

Prosecutors said Barbar pulled his younger daughter out of school for a paternity test after discovering his wife had been having several affairs, including one where she met a lover in Texas. He received the results on Nov. 6, 2009, and committed the murders eight days later, prosecutors said.