Court documents shed light on violent relationship between husband, slain wife

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TACOMA, Wash. —

Court documents released on Monday show a wife and mother found murdered in a Tacoma motel was planning to leave her estranged husband and had filed for divorce just days before her death.

The documents also show that Sara Barrett, 42, felt so threatened by her husband, Tony Barrett, 41, that in the week before her death that she had reached out to his new girlfriend to tell her.

Tony Barrett pleaded not guilty to her murder in court on Monday.

Court documents revealed that surveillance cameras outside Sara Barrett's workplace at the Pier 1 Imports distribution center in DuPont show her leaving work after a man entered her car.

The documents contained a statement from Tony Barrett that he and his wife had gone to a motel to have sex and that the two had a fight. He said that his wife was still breathing when he left her.

Detectives found her body at a Motel 6 in Tacoma. An autopsy indicated she had some knife wounds, but had died of asphyxiation.

Sara Barrett's friend, Jenifer Hall, told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Monique Ming Laven that Tony Barrett had anger issues and refused to get help.

Tony hid his face behind a piece of paper in court on Monday.

"It would have been nice to see if he had any expression, any emotion, something to give us," Hall said.

Court documents indicated that Tony Barrett was convicted of assault for trying to suffocate Sara Barrett with a pillow in 2007.

Authorities arrested Tony Barrett last Thursday after he reportedly called a local TV station to confess to his wife's murder, and then led police on a chase that ended in Gig Harbor.

Detectives found Sara Barrett's car keys, blood and a knife in his van.

On Monday, a judge set bail for Tony Barrett at $2 million.