MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 21, 2012

Suspended sentence revoked in brutal robbery

Barnes revoked after series of felonies in Oklahoma County

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A woman who received a suspended sentence for her part in a 2004 robbery scheme had her sentence revoked Tuesday in Muskogee County District Court.

Linda Gail Barnes, 58, was given a pair of 10-year sentences as part of a deal for pleading guilty in Oklahoma County on a series of felonies there.

Barnes was arrested in 2004 for the beating and robbery of Muskogee businessman Jerry Self, owner of Self Construction.

Barnes was part of a group who robbed Self, for whom Barnes worked as a secretary.

Barnes received a 30-year suspended sentence for her role in the robbery after pleading guilty to robbery with a weapon and conspiracy. Robbery with a weapon is an 85 percent crime, meaning Barnes must spend 8.5 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

Barnes’ brother-in-law, Roger Keith Barnes, 58, and Charles Martin, 52, pleaded guilty in 2006 to robbery with a weapon and conspiracy charges. Each received a 25-year sentence with 12 years suspended in prison.

All three defendants, under the terms of the plea deals, were held responsible for paying $72,000 restitution. District Judge Mike Norman told Barnes on Tuesday she will have to resume paying that restitution within three days of her eventual release from prison.

In a 2004 Muskogee Phoenix interview, Self said he attempted to fight the intruders, but was badly beaten. Fearing for his life, he tried to escape through the front door, but it was locked, he said. He eventually threw a chair though a window and climbed through the glass to safety.

He had surgery on his left arm, which was broken in the attack, and all the bones on the left side of his face were broken.

About $70,000 was taken during the robbery.

An Oklahoma County Court Clerk spokeswoman said Barnes was charged Sept. 27, 2011 with:

• Eight counts of grand larceny from a dwelling house; and

• Three counts of unlawfully using a computer network for the purpose of obtaining money and other things of value by use of a false and fraudulent representation.

Online court records show Barnes pleaded guilty to all 11 counts on March 8, receiving eight years on counts one through eight, and 10 years on counts nine through 11. Those sentences are set to run concurrent with her Muskogee County sentence, according to records filed in March.

Barnes appeared with her court ordered attorney Roger Hilfiger on Tuesday. Hilfiger said he had spoken with Barnes’ attorney in Oklahoma City, who said he had cleared the deal with the Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth @muskogeephoenix.com.