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Woman pleads guilty to 2002 bank robbery in Inwood

May 06, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -A woman who robbed an Inwood, W.Va., bank last spring and then parked the getaway car in a front yard with a "For Sale" sign in its window pleaded guilty Monday to one felony count of first-degree aggravated robbery.

Diana Lynn Barrow, 40, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., will be sentenced to serve a sentence of 20 years, according to conditions of a plea bargain. Circuit Judge David Sanders will decide in July whether that sentence should be served in prison or as probation, both sides of the case said during Barrow's plea hearing.

Barrow remained free on bond.

Barrow admitted to Sanders that she walked into the F&M Bank branch in Inwood on May 1, 2002, ordered people to get on the floor and then demanded money from a cashier.

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After Sanders asked, Barrow said she believed the maximum sentence for a charge of armed robbery was 20 years. Actually, Sanders said, the minimum sentence is 10 years, while the maximum is not determined. Theoretically, Sanders said, someone could be sentenced to serve 600 years.

Also during questioning from Sanders, Barrow said she received counseling after the robbery. She told Sanders she is taking several medications, which help calm her.

During the hearing, Barrow occasionally dabbed at her face with a folded tissue.

Berkeley County Assistant Prosecutor Betsy Giggenbach said a teller handed Barrow $9,422. Since then, $5,427 remains missing and must be paid back by Barrow to the bank, Giggenbach said.

After the robbery, witnesses said they spotted someone driving a red Jeep Wrangler away from the bank, which is off U.S. 11 south of Martinsburg.

Later that day, police found a 1992 red Jeep Wrangler parked in a yard. Investigators were able to connect the Jeep to Barrow, who confessed to the robbery, police said.

Although Barrow allegedly wielded a .38-caliber handgun during the robbery, that fact will be omitted with regard to the plea and sentencing, Giggenbach said.

The bank's manager and assistant manager could not be reached to say whether they agree with the plea, but the head of security at the bank agreed with it, as did the investigating police officer, Giggenbach said.

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