Burglary suspect withdraws blind guilty plea

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 25, 2012

After forgoing a jury trial and instead entering a blind guilty plea last month, Christopher L. Barrow has withdrawn his plea.

Barrow, 34, is charged with third-degree burglary and is accused of breaking into a former police officer’s apartment and stealing a flat screen television on May 18, 2011. He was arrested the following day based on a fingerprint match from evidence left at the crime scene on Elm Street, according to Troy Police Sgt. Benny Scarbrough.

Barrow was set for jury trial on April 17, but entered a blind plea on April 16. His blind plea meant that instead of presenting his case in front of a jury, Barrow was willing to be sentenced at the mercy of a judge.

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Now that he’s withdrawn that plea, Barrow has been placed back on the criminal court docket and it will likely be November before he appears before a judge again, according to court records.

Barrow was scheduled to be sentenced on May 23 and was facing a sentencing from Judge Thomas Head of an estimated 76 to 115 months in prison, according to a statement by Head at the time of the blind plea.

But this won’t be the only charge Barrow will defend himself in court for this year.

Barrow is charged in the 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.