Next Parole Hearing : April 2018
Alicia Nour was killed while trying to escape a fire in her grandmother’s home
|Inmate Name:||Roger Barker|
|Offenses:||Involuntary Manslaughter; Agg Arson|
|Min/ Max Sentence:||14 Years – 50 Years|
|Next Parole Hearing:||June 2018|
Alicia Nour, age 10, was spending the night at her grandmothers house with friends and family after spending the day at a local amusement part. A fire broke out at 1:20AM at the home and Alicia was the only one who did not make it out alive. She died of smoke inhalation while trying to crawl though the kitchen to reach the back door. 11 other people, including several children and two firefighters, were also injured. Firefighters ruled the case accidental until seven years later police got a tip that Roger Barker had set the fire that killed Alicia. A jury ruled Barker was responsible for Alicia’s death and found him guilty of aggravated arson and involuntary manslaughter.
Alicia Nour’s Story
A Fateful Summer Evening
By the time Alicia Nour got home on Saturday night August 20, 1993 she was exhausted. She had spent a fun and exciting day at Cedar Point amusement park with her grandmother, mother, brother, sister, cousin and two friends. That evening they all were spending the evening at Alicia’s grandma’s house before going home the next day. Also in the two story building that night were the property owner, who lived on the second floor, and Alicia’s mother’s boyfriend. They all were asleep until approximately 1:20AM when they were awakened by smoke billowing through the house.
Alicia’s family woke up and realized the house was on fire. Alicia, her 18-year-old sister, and her 16-year-old cousin decided the quickest way out of the house was the back the door in the kitchen. They dropped to their knees and began to crawl through the house to the back door. Police arrived minutes later and immediately saw Alicia’s mother screaming for help from a second story window. She then began dropping the remaining children into the arms of neighbors and police officers.
Police realized everyone was accounted for excepted Alicia and the building owner. They began searching for a way into the home and went around the back of the house. There they saw the building owner on the roof of the house. She was terrified, in shock, and refused to move. Police got her safely down from the roof while Firefighters continued searching for Alicia. Firefighters entered the house the found Alicia on the kitchen floor. She was unconscious and they did everything they could to revive her before an ambulance took her to Medical College Hospital. Alicia was pronounced dead a short time later. The coroner said she died from smoke inhalation.
Nine people made it out of the house safely and all were taken to the hospital. Everyone was treated for smoke inhalation and released except for Alicia’s brother who remained in the hospital for several days. Two firefighters,who were also injured, were treated and released.
The fire investigator determined the fire was accidental and cause by smoking materials left unattended in a storage area. The case was closed until police caught a break seven years later.
A Murderer Revealed and Convicted
At the end of August of 2000 police arrested Danny Frost for a string of five burglaries. While being questioned he told officers that he had information about an old murder. Frost said Alicia Nour was killed by a man named Roger Barker. At first police were hesitant to believe Frost. They believed he was interested in negotiating a plea deal however based on the information they decided to reopen the case. Detectives spent four months thoroughly investigating the fire and their break came when they located Derick Newlan,
Derick Newlan was a friend of Roger Barker and was with him on the night the fire started in Alicia’s grandmother’s house. He said that Barker found the house’s storage room door unlocked. He went in, and according to assistant prosecutor James Vail, was looking for something to steal. When Barker found nothing he wanted to steal Newlan said Barker then set five or six fires with a cigarette lighter and the two fled the scene.
Based on Frost and Newlan’s statements prosecutors charged Barker with aggravated arson and involuntary manslaughter. A murder charge was not brought since there was no evidence that Barker intended to kill Alicia. It took the jury three hours to review all the evidence and find Barker guilty of both charges. At sentencing Judge Robert Christiansen told Barker “I find this was a total senseless act. You didn’t care who you might hurt.” He then sentenced Barker to 14-50 years in prison. Barker took no responsibility for his actions and told the judge, “I didn’t do it and I’m sorry it happened.”
While Roger Barker did not intend to kill Alicia Nour his senseless, dangerous actions caused her death. It is impossible to imagine the terror Alicia felt in the last moments of her life while gasping for error on the kitchen floor. Miraculously none of the surviving victims, including several children, were killed as a direct result of Barker’s actions. Although he knew he killed Alicia, Barker spent seven years living his life and at no point did he ever feel any guilt or remorse and come forward to take responsibility for his crimes. Even after his conviction Barker refused to admit his guilt.
Releasing Roger Barker after serving only his minimum sentence would be a complete injustice to Alicia Nour, her family, as well as to the other 11 victims who were hurt that evening. We believe that Barker’s lack of conscience and remorse, combined with the fact he refused to take responsibility for his actions, continues to make him a serious threat to the community. To further the interests of justice and to protect society we urge the Ohio Parole Board to give Roger Barker a five year continuance until his next parole hearing.