STEUBENVILLE, OH – A local resident has been sentenced to life in prison after confessing to the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman. Joshua Jerome Woodland, 31, will serve a minimum of 29 years without the possibility of parole, following a ruling by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese.
Reports reveal that Woodland admitted to deliberately killing Carol Jeane Barnett, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, by shooting her three times in the head in May 2022. In addition to pleading guilty to her murder, Woodland also confessed to involuntary manslaughter for the death of Barnett’s unborn baby.
The murder weapon, a 9-millimeter Smith & Wesson, carries an additional three-year sentence for its involvement in the crime. Following this, Woodland will serve a 15-year-to-life sentence for Barnett’s murder and then an 11-year sentence for the death of her baby. Judge Bruzzese clarified that both sentences are mandatory and must be served consecutively.
Of note is that Woodland has spent 532 days in jail since his arrest, which will be deducted from his final sentence. During the police investigation, Woodland had claimed that Barnett had tampered with his marijuana, leading him to commit the crime. However, Prosecutor Jane Hanlin dismissed such allegations, stating that neither Woodland’s alcohol nor THC intoxication could justify murder and involuntary manslaughter.
Steven Stickles, Woodland’s defense attorney, shared with the court that his client had expressed deep remorse and taken responsibility for his actions.
Despite having the option to have his second charge reviewed by a grand jury due to Woodland claiming ignorance about Barnett’s pregnancy, he waived this right. Woodland expressed his desire to proceed with the sentencing without further delay.