MAYS LANDING - A Ventnor woman has admitted she killed her mother and grandmother.

Heather Barbera, 43, would spend more than 40 years in prison before parole eligibility under terms of a plea agreement, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said Oct. 15.

She admitted guilt to the murder of her grandmother, 87-year-old Elaine Rosen, and to the aggravated manslaughter of her mother, 67-year-old Michelle Gordon.

The victims were found slain in their Ventnor apartment on the morning of July 8, 2018.

Barbera allegedly beat the women to death with a nightstick in their home at 4800 Boardwalk, a 212-unit complex also known as Vassar Square, the prosecutor's office said.

Barbera attacked the women "with a billy club used by her father when he worked as a beat cop in Brooklyn," Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said in a statement.

"This plea will not bring back Ms. Gordon or Mrs. Rosen, but it will save the family the unnecessary trauma of experiencing a trial while still getting a modicum of justice," he said.

Investigators learned Barbera left Ventnor after the slayings and took a bus to New York City, according to the prosecutor's office. New York City police officers arrested her three days later at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.

Barbera has been held in Atlantic County Jail since her extradition from New York.

She faces an aggregate term of 42 years in state prison under the plea agreement, with sentencing set for Jan. 9, the prosecutor's office said.

Jim Walsh is a free-range reporter who’s been roaming around South Jersey for decades. His interests include crime, the courts, economic development and being first with breaking news. Reach him at or look for him in traffic.

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