Christopher Barrow sentenced for homicide, 2011 burglary

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Christopher L. Barrow was sentenced to five years in prison for vehicular homicide and 115 months for third-degree burglary in Pike County Court Wednesday.

Barrow, now 36, was arrested on Jan. 12, 2011 for first-degree murder and first-degree assault for his part in a Dec. 31, 2010 crash that killed his wife, Francene.

According to an investigation by State Troopers, Barrow was driving north on U.S. 231 about 6:55 p.m. that New Year’s Eve, 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.

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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.

Several months after the crash, Barrow was arrested again for breaking into a former police officer’s apartment and stealing a flat screen television on May 18, 2011. He was charged with third-degree burglary in that case.

Barrow pleaded guilty to both crimes and was sentenced by Judge Shannon Clark Wednesday afternoon.

Barrow’s attorney, Randy Arnold, asked for leniency from the court, arguing that his client has reason to live a good life – his two year old son who was only nine days old at the time of the crash.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Moore countered that argument though, noting this was Barrow’s sixth crime after being convicted of felony possession of a forged instrument in 2001, two counts of third-degree burglary and one count of first-degree theft in 2005 and another third-degree burglary in 2010 – all cases in which Barrow pleaded guilty.

Moore argued that Barrow’s two other children, now 17 and 7, weren’t deterrents from criminal activities and he didn’t believe his youngest son would be, either.

Barrow’s two sentences handed down Wednesday will be served concurrently, with credit noted for his time already served.

Barrow took the stand during the sentencing hearing Wednesday. It was the first time he has spoken on his behalf at a sentencing hearing.

He said his late wife had shown him that someone “could love me more than I love myself.”

“I wish I could take it back, but I can’t,” he said. “It was like I was on top of the world one minute and like the world was on top of me the next minute.”