Barlow Gets 10 Years for Assault, Other Charges
By WestKyStar Staff
BENTON, KY - Former South Marshall Middle School Principal Kent Barlow received a 10-year prison sentence Friday for charges of assault, wanton endangerment, and unlawful imprisonment.
Marshall Circuit Judge Dennis Foust announced the sentence after Barlow gave a public apology to the woman he assaulted and threatened in his home in March. The woman was his former girlfriend, and after an argument, according to a police report, he pulled a gun on the her, punched her in the face, slammed her head against the wall and then began firing shots. The woman escaped briefly before Barlow tackled her on the front lawn. He then allegedly dragged her back inside by the hair. Later in the evening, Barlow fell asleep and the woman fled to a neighbor's house.
Barlow's attorney, Mark Bryant, tried to convince Foust that his client made a one-time mistake and only need probation, but Commonwealth Attorney mark Blankenship argued that because of what he did, probation was not enough.
"A monster came out of him that night." Blankenship told the court, according to the Paducah Sun.
Barlow apologized to the victim, her family, his family and the community, saying the victim has been his best friend, and he has a great deal of respect for her.
Barlow's mother also spoke at the sentencing hearing, pleading for the judge to give her son probation so he can get the mental help he needs. She attributed his violence that night to deep scars caused by a divorce and charges of child molestation brought against him. He was found not guilty on that charge in 2007.
Foust said the severity of the crime warranted a prison sentence, but that he didn't think Barlow would serve the full sentence. He must also pay restitution to the victim. Barlow has already served 174 days in jail, and would be eligible for parole in two years.
Bryant indicated that in 90 days, he plans to file a motion for Barlow to receive shock probation instead of jail time.
Bryant also said that Barlow has a job lined up whenever he regains his freedom.