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Local News

March 24, 2014

Robin sentenced to 56 years for murder of roommate

BEAUMONT — Christopher Robin was sentenced to 56 years in prison for the 2007 murder of his roommate, Wayne Beavers.

The jury deliberated for about an hour and 20 minutes Monday morning before delivering the sentence in the 252nd District Court, Judge Lindsey Scott presiding.

Robin, 44, was found guilty of the murder on Friday after a week-long trial. He must serve at least half of the sentence, 28 years, before he is eligible for parole.

His father, Henry Russell Robin, is adamant his son is innocent of the brutal crime.

“I’m a bit aggravated,” Henry Robin said after the family exited the courtroom. “He was sentenced to 56 years for something he didn’t do.”

The father is also aggravated because his son sat in jail waiting on the trial for almost six years.

“This court is a joke. My son sat in jail because some judge was too lazy to get off his hiney,” he said.

Robin, who was indicted on the charge and jailed in June 2008, is one of hundreds of people stuck in a case backlog in the 252nd District Court. Former Judge Layne Walker resigned from the position in January and Judge Scott took over the court earlier this month.

Henry Robin speculates the District Attorney’s office rushed through the case when the backlog issue came to light in the media recently.

Christopher Robin discovered the badly beaten body of Beavers, 56, at the victim’s home in the 2100 block of 12th Street in Port Neches at about 3 p.m. Nov. 20, 2007. An autopsy showed three possible causes of death — manual strangulation, crushed chest and fractured skull. Robin told jurors he had last seen Beavers alive around 7 a.m. that morning before his father picked him up for work.

“My son is innocent. I know he is,” the father said. “I don’t know what went through the jurors’ heads but one day they’ll know the truth.”

During the sentencing phase defense attorney James Makin brought forth documents chronicling robin’s disciplinary records, medial records, education and visits to show jurors that Robin had not had any problems since he was incarcerated. One incident was mentioned in which a shank, or homemade knife, was found in a cell he occupied with three other people.

During his time waiting trial Robin obtained his general equivalency diploma, or GED, earned the role of trustee, took several behavioral classes and even assisted his teacher, Margaret James. He was awarded certificates of completion for anger management, building self-esteem and building relationships.

With hands laced together and head slightly bowed, Robin listened as defense attorney Makin told jurors that “if he is truly violent this (file folder) would be a thick file,” Makin said. “You’ve heard testimony that Mr. Robin has been a trustee for five years. He has not sat around wasting time. He took classes to better himself and helped other inmates. He’s not a danger.”

Prosecutor Rachel Grove agreed that Robin has “pretty much been a model inmate” and that “he can do well in jail” but the problem is “when he’s not in jail.”

“All of the anger management classes, we don’t know if they helped or not. It may be a little too little too late. You saw what he’s capable of when he’s angry. This was an extremely vicious crime and very personal; whether they were roommates, friends or lovers, he is capable of doing that to someone he knew.”

There were no representatives from Beavers’ family present — his father died some years ago and his mother, age 86, lives in Oklahoma and is unable to travel, Grove said.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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