Convicted of’93 double murder, Barlow brothers eligible for early release
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles will decide this week whether brothers Shannon Dean Barlow and Franklin Lee Barlow Jr., both convicted in the brutal murders of their stepmother and stepsister more than 29 years ago near Nokomis, will remain in prison for at least five more years or will be paroled after nearly 30 years behind bars.
Both convicted killers will be considered for early release when the parole board meets Wednesday, January 11. Each has already been turned down four times since entering the state system in 1995.
Court documents show that Shannon Barlow, an avowed Satanist, was only 15 years old, his brother 20, when on October 10, 1993, they went on an alcohol and marijuana binge with a third man — 27-year-old Albert Ganoe “Rocky” Beasley — that sent them with evil intentions to the rural home of their stepmother, Kathy Hall Barlow, and their 12-year-old stepsister, Angel Marie Hall.
According to official reports and court testimony, Shannon Barlow knocked on the door, then shot Kathy Barlow in the head with a .410 shotgun when she opened it.
He then went to his stepsister’s room, where he raped the preteen before trying to shoot her in the face. The teen killer confessed that after Angel knocked the gun away from her face, he began beating her in the head with the butt of the gun.
He told court officials that when he and his older brother later went back into the girl’s bedroom, they discovered she was still alive, so he stabbed her 12 times.
The trio carried both bodies into Florida, where they buried them in sandy soil near a gravel-pit lake.
Tim Hawsey was Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff at the time. He told television reporters that the inside of the home where the murders were committed was “one of the most horrible crime scenes I’ve ever witnessed.”
Marsha Maher, Kathy Barlow’s niece and Angel Hall’s cousin, has taken up the family’s banner in opposing the release of either brother, especially after the brutal and emotionless manner in which they killed and disposed of the victims.
“They were shot, stabbed, raped, beaten, strangled, buried in the sand at the gravel lakes near our home, then urinated on,” Maher said when the brothers last came up for parole consideration. “They surely do not need to be paroled. They pose a threat to myself, my family and to our community.”
Shannon Barlow pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree burglary. Franklin Barlow entered a guilty plea to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree escape.
Alabama law prohibits capital punishment or life in prison without parole for juveniles, no matter the crime for which they are convicted, so Shannon Barlow was sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences, with the possibility of parole, and is currently housed at Bibb County Correctional Facility.
Franklin Barlow was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, with the possibility of parole, plus an additional 10 years on the escape charge. He is serving his time at Staton Correctional Facility.
Their accomplice, Beasley, was convicted at trial and sentenced to life without parole. He is currently serving that sentence at St. Clair Correctional Facility.
“There should be no reason in the world why they should be let out,” Maher said of the Barlows. “They possess a spirit inside of them that society cannot handle.”