Barrow pleads to burglary

Published 11:00 pm Monday, April 16, 2012

Forgoing a jury trial set for Tuesday at 9 a.m., Christopher L. Barrow, 34, of Abbeville, entered a blind guilty plea on a third-degree burglary charge Monday evening.

A blind plea means that Barrow is at the mercy of a judge when it comes to time he will serve.

“We were ready for trial,” Anderson said. “Now we are calling witnesses to tell them not to make the drive.”

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Barrow will appear before Judge Thomas Head again on May 23 for a sentencing in that case. Head told Barrow he could expect his sentence to probably be between 76 to 115 months in prison. However, Head will be considering all evidence presented and that could change.

Anderson said his sentencing recommendation, if Barrow had not entered the blind plea, would have been 20 years

On top of prison time, Barrow could also be charged with paying a hefty fine, as well as court costs and money to the Crime Victims Compensation Commission Fund.

Still looming over Barrow, though, is a manslaughter case relating to a 2010 New Year’s Eve crash that killed Francene N. Phillips, a passenger in Barrow’s car. According to an investigation by State Troopers, Barrow was driving north on U.S. 231 about 6:55 p.m. Dec. 31, 2010, when his 2007 Chevrolet Impala crossed the center line and struck a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by an 18-year-old Troy man. Barrow’s vehicle then collided with a 2000 Chevrolet C1500 driven by a 38-year-old Dothan man.

Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene and all other drivers and a passenger were treated for non-life threatening injuries at Troy Regional Medical Center.

Barrow was arrested on Jan. 12, 2011, for first-degree murder and first-degree assault.

District Attorney Tom Anderson said the manslaughter case will be tried at a later time.