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Judge sentences Melanie Eam to 50 years in prison for fatally stabbing ex-boyfriend

Posted at 1:39 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 17:27:12-04

A judge has sentenced Melanie Eam to 50 years in prison.

The Palm Beach County woman was convicted of stabbing her ex-boyfriend to death in 2016 in his Loxahatchee home.

Eam was found guilty of second degree murder in January in her second trial. Her first trail ended in a mistrial.

"Melanie took away the future we were supposed to have with James," said Nicola Barry, James's mother.

There's nothing that can bring their son back, but James Barry Sr. and Nicola Barry say they can begin to heal knowing the woman who killed him will be in a prison cell for the next 50 years if her life.

"That is a lifetime and she gets to think of what she did every single day," said Barry Sr.

Eam was convicted of stabbing her ex-boyfriend James Barry after he broke up with her. His family believed she waited for everyone to go to bed to go into the home and knew where the family kept their sharpest knives.

Eam's attormey called a clinical and forensic psychologist to testify in the sentencing hearing about her evaluation of Eam. The doctor told the judge that she believed Eam was a victim of long-term physical and sexual abuse. The prosecutor pointed out that the abuse was self-reported by Eam and her cousin, but there have never been any Florida Department of Children and Families or police reports to verify it.

James's family hugged outside the courtroom after providing their very emotional statements to the judge and plea for a maximum sentence.

Judge Glenn Kelley said he considered life in prison, but also had to consider Eam had no prior history, her age, and that the charge was second degree. James's family said they are happy with the judge's decision.

"Justice has prevailed for James. I feel this will never replace James, but at least the world is a safer place because he is locked up," said James's mother.