Barbara Pasa is behind bars for the murder of her husband, Timothy Pasa, also known as Tim, which occurred at their home in Centerville, Iowa.
Shortly before 6:30 a.m. on May 5, 2018, Barbara and Tim’s children left their house, located in the 800 block of South Park Avenue, and got on the bus to attend a soccer tournament in Creston.
Barbara left the house at approximately 7:08 a.m., and she sent a text message to her daughter as she was backing out of the driveway.
The then-45-year-old told her that she was going to be late.
She then drove to an ATM at Farmer’s Bank of Northern Missouri, where she withdrew money. As she began driving to Creston, her friends and neighbors tried calling her, but their calls went unanswered.
Barbara later said she didn’t have cell service.
When she was able to receive calls, her niece called and informed her that her house was on fire. That’s when she headed back to Centerville.
Firefighters were already at her home, attempting to put out the fire.
One of the firemen was injured. He was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines by air ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.
He was treated and released the next day.
When firefighters finally extinguished the fire, they found Tim’s badly burned body on the bed, where they believe the fire started.
Evidence suggested that the fire was intentional.
Barbara told police officials that before she left her house, she had lit a candle in their bedroom.
An autopsy showed that Tim, 50, did not inhale any smoke and had died before the fire started. The medical examiner said his cause of death was a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
Friends and acquaintances of Barbara said that when she found out that her husband had died in the fire, her reaction was “odd.”
They added that she didn’t “shed that many tears at the scene.”
The day after Tim’s death, Barbara wrote the following message on her Facebook page: “I’ve started with lots of tears and a very heavy heart today. All the people that have reached out and touched our lives is unbelievable [SIC]. Words of thanks will never be enough.”
“To the EMS system- you are very special people- spending your lives helping others and saving. As tears are shed, I’m also thinking of you.”
“The attempt you made to save Tim and the emotions you are going thru are something most don’t think about.”
“But today I’m wishing you peace and comfort. I hope you realize that I know you tried and gave everything you had—there are no words to express my gratitude.”
In another post, she shared a photo of Tim and said he was “the man who stole her heart.”
The police learned through an investigation that Barbara and her husband were having financial issues when she took out a $200,000 life insurance policy on him.
They had also filed for divorce.
Not only that, but Tim told relatives that he thought his wife was poisoning him. Barbara worked as a nurse in the surgical department at MercyOne Centerville Medical Center.
Thirteen days later, Barbara was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson.
She was booked into the Appanoose County Jail, where she was held on a $1 million bond.
During the trial, Barbara took the stand. She said, “I did not kill Tim Pasa. I couldn’t do that to my kids. I wouldn’t do that to Tim.”
Barbara’s defense attorney argued that Tim had injected himself with the propofol, as he was a recreational user.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence to prove that Tim used drugs.
According to one of Barbara’s friends’ testimonies, during one of their outings, Barbara mentioned her husband and said she “f***ing hated him.”
She added, “If she wanted to get rid of somebody, she knew how.”
In September 2019, a Monroe County jury found Barbara guilty after deliberating for over three hours within a two-day period.