The Port Arthur News
Port Neches resident Christopher Robin was found guilty of the first degree murder of his roommate Wayne Beavers on Friday.
A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for three hours before returning the verdict in the 252nd District Court, Judge Lindsey Scott presiding.
Sentencing will take place at 8 a.m. Monday in the courtroom.
Robin, 44, sat quietly as the verdict was read. His family members, who were in attendance during the five day trial, had went downstairs for a quick lunch and missed the announcement with the exception of one woman who was visibly stunned.
After the jury filed out for a break, Michelle Smith, a longtime friend of the victim, entered the near empty courtroom and learned the verdict from a bailiff. Overcome with relief, Smith sat down and cried.
Both Robin’s family members and Smith were filled with emotion and when the two crossed near each other outside the courtroom words were exchanged. A nearby bailiff separated the family members to one area of seating and Smith to another.
“It’s very shocking and devastating,” the defendant’s brother Thomas Robin, 46, said in reaction to the guilty verdict. “I am convinced my brother is innocent.”
Thomas Robin had testified earlier in the week that he was with his brother and their father working in Vidor the day that Beavers’ body was discovered.
The badly beaten body of Beavers, 56, was found at his home on Nov. 20, 2007, in the 2100 block of 12th Street in Port Neches. An autopsy showed three possible causes of death — manual strangulation, crushed chest and fractured skull. Robin was arrested for the murder in June 2008.
The prosecution produced a large amount of evidence, from crime scene photos, clothing and shoes to DNA reports. Andrew McWhorter, forensic scientist for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told jurors that a swab sample of blood taken from the left hallway wall of the home showed a mixture of DNA with Beavers the major contributor and Robin the minor contributor. A Reebok shoe belonging to Robin tested positive for Beavers’ DNA and blood on a broken cell phone found in the bathroom of the home tested positive for a mixture of both Robin’s and Beavers’ DNA.
Robin took the stand on Thursday and told jurors that he last saw Beavers’ alive before he went to work shortly after 7 a.m. Nov. 20, 2007. Robin stated he had cut himself at work and the wound had reopened when he returned home from work. He entered the bathroom to clean his bloody hand then went to his bedroom to dry his hands when he noticed his roommates body on his bed. This, he said, was why his blood was found in the home.
Robin faces between 5-99 years or life in prison. Since the offense occurred after Sept. 1, 2007, the defendant is ineligible for probation under Texas state law.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Grove said, “The family of Wayne Beavers’ finally has justice for the senseless, brutal death of their son. The Port Neches Police Department did an excellent job in their investigation as did the Jefferson County Regional Crime Lab. The jury made the right decision by convicting Christopher Robin and we look forward to their decision on punishment Monday.”