Woman who fled trial sentenced in absentia to 20 years

Posted Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013  Print Reprints

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A Tarrant County woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday in a home invasion-style robbery, but she wasn't there to hear the verdict.

Surveillance video showed Belinda Barrow, 38, and a friend leaving the courthouse shortly after the jury started deliberating Wednesday, a district attorney's office spokeswoman said. Barrow, who had been free on bond, never returned.

The trial resumed without her and she was found guilty in the aggravated robbery of an 82-year-old woman in a Fort Worth retirement community on Aug. 27, 2011, said Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney's office. She was sentenced to 20 years on Thursday.

The victim was robbed at gunpoint, even had her wedding rings taken off her finger, McDonald said.

On Thursday, the jury was informed that Barrow, a certified nursing assistant, had skipped out on her trial, the spokeswoman said in a news release.

U.S. Marshal's Task Force and Fort Worth police were searching for Barrow on Thursday.

Barrow had faced up to life in prison, McDonald said.

Assistant District Attorneys Allenna Bangs and Lisa Callaghan prosecuted the case in Judge Everett Young's 297th District Court.

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689

Twitter: @albranch1