In a case that has sparked national attention and will surely spark a new Law and Order SVU episode, a Dallas women has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for making a false rape accusation that ultimately lead to the murder of her lover.
The sentence stems from a bizarre set of facts starting with a false claim of rape to cover up an affair and ending with the murder of her lover (the man she falsely accused) by her outraged husband.
Mrs. Tracey Roberson, 37, was convicted Friday of manslaughter in the 2006 shooting death of Devin LaSalle. Prosecutors said it was Mrs. Roberson’s husband, Darrell, who fired the fatal shot but only because his wife falsely claimed she was being raped by Mr. LaSalle.
Mr. LaSalle died in December 2006 after Mr. Roberson shot him outside the Robersons’ south Arlington, Texas home. Mr. Roberson shot Mr. Lasalle after he returned home from a card game and caught Mr. LaSalle and his wife – who was clad in only a bathrobe and underwear at the time – together in Mr. LaSalle’s truck
The case was presented to a grand jury. In a soap opera crime show twist the grand jury declined to indict Mr. Roberson(the husband) for the actual shooting and instead indicted Mrs. Roberson on manslaughter charges. Yes, that is correct , at least for now,Mr. Roberson will face no criminal responsbility here for the actual shooting.
The sentencing jury deliberated more than 2 days before sentencing Mrs. Roberson to Five Years in Prison.
This case really bothers me. Not because Mrs. Roberson is going to do time but because Mr. Roberson who engaged in a textbook case of manslaughter himself will walk away scott free. My gut tells me that he killed this guy because he was having an affair with his wife and not because his wife cried rape. Did he take his rage of past indiscretions in the relationship out on this guy? Did he know about this guy prior to the shooting? There was some testimony that he was suspicious of her infidelities…. It is not clear whether he knew anything about this specific affiar prior to the shooting. Would that change your opinion on justification if he did?
If the husband knew absolutely nothing and this was a pure spur of the moment decision to try to save his wife, I would feel better about the justification defense here.
Did Mrs. Roberson deserve to do 5 years? I don’t think so but I was not siting on the jury.
If you read up on the case there were a lot of facts presented that certainly did not make Mrs. Roberson likeable person and I am sure that had a lot to do with the severe sentence. There was also testimony of Mrs. Roberson of abuse by her husband with no corroborating evidence. I think introducing this testimony with nothing to back it up backfired on her and made her even more unlikeable as simply looking like someone with her hand caught in the cookie jar……
Finally and in my mind most importantly , juries take claims of rape very seriously. Juries don’t like people who don’t take them seriously. Juries don’t like people who cry wolf with a cry of rape to cover up affairs….
Juries maybe want to send a message to the next person who thinks about crying rape in a crowded theater…..
Any criminal lawyers out there to comment?
What would Oliva Benson and Elliot Stabler think?