Second defendant pleads guilty, victim testifies

Local News

The second defendant to go to trial for a robbery and shooting at a Wichita Falls gun shop decides to plead guilty after the jury is selected, just as the other defendant did in August 2017.

Rodney Robinson entered a guilty plea Tuesday to aggravated robbery.

Robinson is accused of firing the shots that wounded the owner of Texoma Armory Gary Barlow back in 2015.

In 2017, Robinson’s co-defendant, Charles Johnson, also entered a guilty plea just after the jury was seated.

Johnson was sentenced to 40 years in prison and will be eligible for parole in about 17 years.

Since Robinson pleaded, the jury will only listen to testimony for his punishment.

Barlow took the stand Tuesday, describing what happened the morning of Nov. 19, 2015. He says a person came in and walked to the back of the store, and then walked out. Then, Barlow said two men came into the store, about 30 minutes later, wearing hoodies and masks. Barlow said one man, who would later be identified as Johnson, came behind the counter and pointed a taser at Barlow, who was sitting down.

Barlow reached down and grabbed a .38 caliber revolver and fired one shot at Johnson and said Johnson fell to the floor. Then, Barlow says he exchanged in gunfire with the other man, who had ducked down in front of the counter and who police identified as Robinson.

In the end, Barlow suffered multiple gunshot wounds, several in the left arm, one on his left hand, one on his right arm and another in his left abdomen. He says once the shooter left the store, he got up, walked over to the Subway store next door for help but couldn’t find anyone so he went over to another business where he asked someone to call 911 and to give him a chair to sit on.

Barlow says he remembers seeing the person who shot him sitting in a car in front of the Subway. He then said the last thing he remembered was being taken to the hospital.

When police question Johnson after he was treated in the hospital they say he told them he was a customer in the store and did not know the other suspect or anything about a robbery. However, during his punishment trial, he admitted he told detectives many lies when they questioned him in the hospital.

Police say Robinson left the robbery scene in a car, and the car was found the same day in front of an apartment building. Authorities also say he admitted firing the shots that seriously wounded Barlow.

89th District Judge Charles Barnard asked Robinson if he understood that pleading guilty could result in a sentence of five to 99 years in jail and Robinson said he understood.

The trial recessed at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and will start back up at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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