Crash leads to murder charge

Published 9:02 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Abbeville man is being held in the Pike County Jail on charges of murder and assault stemming from three-vehicle crash near Troy on New Year’s Eve..

Christopher L. Barrow, 33, of Abbeville, was arrested by Alabama State Troopers at approximately 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. He was charged with first-degree murder and first degree assault. His bond was set at $100,000 for the murder charge and $50,000 for the assault charge.

The charges stem from the Dec. 31, 2010, crash that resulted in the death of Francene N. Phillips. Phillips, 32, of Abbeville, was a passenger in Barrow’s 2007 Chevrolet Impala.

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According to State Troopers, the preliminary investigation shows that Barrow was driving north on U.S. 231 when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Christopher V. Valverde, 18, of Troy. Barrow’s vehicle then collided with a 2000 Chevrolet C1500 driven by Norman B. Baxley, 38, of Dothan.

Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Coroner Jerry Williams. Barrow, Baxley, Valverde, and Billy Fulton, a passenger in Baxley’s vehicle, were treated for non-life threatening injuries at Troy Regional Medical Center.

State Troopers continue to investigate the crash and would not release any details surrounding the reasons for the charges.