'Career criminal' gets 80 years in slaying of KFC clerk

Tribune reporter

A Cook County judge today sentenced a "career criminal" to 80 years in prison for the slaying of a teenage manager during a robbery at a South Side fast-food restaurant more than five years ago.

Larry Barlow, 51, shook his head slowly but otherwise remained expressionless as Judge Charles Burns imposed the sentence for first-degree murder in the June 2006 fatal shooting of Antoinette Means.

Means was a bright 19-year-old student who had earned a four-year scholarship to college and was “clearly going places,” Burns said. The judge said he was particularly angered that Barlow had recently been released from prison when he shot Means in the KFC restaurant at 83rd Street and South Chicago Avenue.

“He lasted less than four months on the street before he committed this murder,” Burns said. “He is without question a career criminal. He is someone we have to keep from society.”

Barlow, who was convicted by a jury earlier this year, entered the KFC wearing a black mask and brandishing a gun, prosecutors said. He jumped over the counter and demanded money and Means handed him about $50 from the register. Barlow was walking out of the store when he heard someone in the kitchen yell out “coward,” turned back and fired one shot, striking Means in the chest, according to prosecutors.

She died while being cradled by her cousin, who also worked in the restaurant, prosecutors said.

After the hearing, Means’ mother, Alicia Jones, said she was “grateful” that Barlow would never be free again. Her daughter, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer and ultimately a Supreme Court justice, would have forgiven him but the sentence was “justice” for the family, Jones said.

“I’m just so glad that my daughter got some closure today,” Jones said.


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