December 17, 2004

The Peterson case is over, so here's the "next big Court TV case"

In Gwinnett County, just northeast of Atlanta, Jennifer Corbin was found dead with a gunshot in her head on December 4. The gun used was beside her in the bed where her 7 year-old son found her. The son, the Corbin's oldest, said that he thought his father, Dacula, GA, dentist Dr. Barton Corbin, had shot his mother.

As the investigation continues in this tragic death, a number of circumstances are coming to light.

First off, according to Jennifer's sister, Jennifer had filed for divorce from her husband on November 29.

Jennifer Corbin, a 39-year-old mother of two boys and a pre-school teacher, tried to file a criminal complaint with Gwinnett police against her husband, Dr. Barton Corbin, on December 1, according to her sister, Heather Tierney.

Tierney says Jennifer told her she bought her own cell phone after her husband, a dentist in Dacula, Ga., filed for divorce on November 29. Jennifer said her husband eventually found out about it.

On Dec. 1, Jennifer apparently walked into a room of their house in Dacula to find the contents of her purse scattered across the floor and her phone missing, according to Tierney. Jennifer decided to confront Dr. Corbin and went to another room of the house, where he'd moved his belongings.

Tierney said that when Jennifer demanded her husband give her back her cell phone, he refused and tore out of the house wearing nothing but his bath towel.

When he got into a car and tried to drive away, Jennifer got behind the car, hoping to delay him long enough to get her phone back, Tierney said. Dr. Corbin wouldn’t stop and ended up running over one of Jennifer’s feet.

And as if this wasn't bad enough, an even more bizarre coincidence is in play in this case.

Fourteen years ago, Dolly Hearn was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head, the gun used, found in her lap.

Dolly was a dentistry student in Augusta, GA, and had reportedly tried to break up with her boyfriend, a fellow student. She was afraid of the boyfriend, and had told friends that he was borderline violent.

Dolly hoped that he'd just graduate and move on with his life, leaving her alone.

A few days later, she was dead.

The boyfriend's name: Barton Corbin.

Hearn had been dating Corbin, a fellow dentistry student at the Medical College of Georgia. She was breaking up with him before her death.

In the months before her death, someone broke into her apartment, and another time someone vandalized her car.

Hearn suspected Corbin in the incidents and so did detectives.

Asked if Hearn was afraid of Corbin and if she was trying to get away from him, Richard County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Pebbles, the lead detective in the Hearn investigation, said, “You know I can’t speak for what she felt inside. I can only tell you that the police reports had been filed. Those were obviously a matter of public record and there were obviusly some issues between the two.”

Detectives questioned Corbin after Hearn’s death but the case languished until Dec. 4 this year when Corbin’s wife died exactly the same way.

That case may be reopened as a result of the Gwinnett County case. The grand jury looking into the Gwinnett case is not due to meet again until after the first of the year.

Once the case gets a little more traction -- and considering that the Michael Jackson case won't heat up until at least the end of January to the beginning of February, look for this one to show up there and on the voyeuristic court shows (Fox's Greta VanSusteren and others) up and down the dial.

Posted by mhking at December 17, 2004 03:59 PM

Swiped, with attribution for my blog. And it appears the email address you have listed is not functioning.

Posted by: theco at December 19, 2004 04:16 PM

I heard Greta at FOX is seeking treatment...

Posted by: Radio Guy at December 19, 2004 04:38 PM

I think the Missouri woman who was murdered and had her baby ripped from her body is probably your next big Court TV case.

Posted by: Gib at December 20, 2004 08:35 AM

I think the article you've captioned may have been a little confusing. Jennifer Corbin did not file for divorce first. The article reads that "Tierney says Jennifer told her she bought her own cell phone after her husband, a dentist in Dacula, GA., filed for divorce on Nov. 29. Jennifer said her husband eventually found out about it." Jennifer bought the cell phone after her husband filed for divorce and it's the cell phone that was eventually discovered.

Gwinnett County Court records show ONE filing naming Barton Corbin as the Plaintiff and Jennifer Corbin as the Defendant.

Posted by: CKBME at December 21, 2004 04:48 PM

I lived in Washington Ga at the time of Dolly's death,it was her childhood home and where her father was one of the only dentists. No one there ever believed Dolly took her own life.

Posted by: susan at December 22, 2004 04:54 PM

Great Article, I enjoyed reading all the details. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

Posted by: Robin at December 22, 2004 09:47 PM

I would like to inquire, which may lead to an interesting story: How many suicide
cases are actual murder cases?

One of the oldest forms of death that can often be manipulated to suit a killer, suicide.
So many families have questioned or protested the death of those they love. From
self inflicted stabbings, hangings, gunshots, and so forth, can all be distorted by a

Whose to know the truth of a person's death, if it's not a true suicide? Just as the
14 year-old case in Augusta.

Just as in this situation, the newly release suspense novel, Won't Be Denied, threads
on the same MO as the Gwinnett dentist. The main character seeks to make a way
to commit a crime that misleads the police as a sign of suicide.

How prevalent are murders portrayed as suicides?

Thank you for your time.

C.F. Jackson

Posted by: C.F. Jackson at December 23, 2004 12:34 PM

The cases of Dolly Hearn and Jennifer Corbin are
apparent to any one absolutely alike. Was it providence that Jennifer had to die in order for Dolly's case to be brought into the limelight? If
so,may justice prevail. I feel such sorrow for both families and was very heartened to hear that
members of Dolly's family attended Jennifer's funeral and that they are there for each other. I imagine that what they could tell each other and probably did about Dr Corbin was identical in the way these women were treated before their deaths. I saw Dolly's brother on TV for the first time tonight and could not begin to fathom what he and the rest of Dolly's family have went through and felt these past 14 years. How hurtful it must have been to lose this beautiful young woman and never have closure or the killer when even the law suspected him all those years.
I do resent highly the fact that Dr.Corbin,just because he is a Dr.,did not have to do the things that a person of lesser means would have to go through with the law when his wife is found shot dead. The rest of us peons would have been arrested if not that day then a lot sooner than Corbin was. He got himself all lawyered up and even had his lawyer answering his door to his residence.If it is proven by law that he did these 2 murders,I hope he gets his just desserts. How smug he must have felt all these years when he was never arrested for Dolly's murder. My heart goes out to the Hearn family and the Corbin family. God Bless them all.

Posted by: Beverly Hawkins at December 23, 2004 06:35 PM

I live in Gwinnett and have seen the guy around at a few bars. There's a huge scientology movement here that no one seems to want to talk about.I wonder if he had any connections to W.I.S.E. They should search his home and computers for LRH literature. There was another shooter/stalking case with similarities (to the 1990 case) a couple weks ago involving a mail order russian bride. Place is going to hell faster than Clearwater.

Posted by: mat at December 23, 2004 08:38 PM


Could you elaborate? I'd reallylike to know more about WISE.

Kind Regards,

Posted by: Heather at December 26, 2004 08:32 PM

Does anyone know Barton Corbin's whereabouts after the Hearn death, leaving Augusta, and prior to meeting his deceased wife????

Posted by: AH at December 27, 2004 02:12 PM

How sad that a man thinks he can get away with this..twice. And how sad that he did. The police didn't do enough to protect the wife after he ran over her foot. It's that assault with a deadly weapon? My daughter asked me a week ago why women don't get away from abusive men. I told her they may try, but the police don't do much to help or protect them. I know from personal experience. The best way is to arm yourself and hope the psycho doesn't catch you off guard

Posted by: Mellisa at January 13, 2005 08:17 PM

Could you elaborate? I'd too really would like to know more about wise :)

Posted by: Mail order brides at February 10, 2005 04:40 AM

W.I.S.E. = World Institute of Scientology Enterprises.

Many businesses and/or Associatons have religious backing. For example, we're all familiar with the Salvation Army, which is a Christian Church and a registered charity. Similarly, the Church of Scientology backs certain organizations. A quick google search found that Narconon (Narcotics Anonymous) and the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) are backed by Scientology, as are I'm sure, many others.

But I'm not sure what Scientology has to do with the article.

Posted by: julie at September 18, 2005 11:35 PM
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