Stanley Robertson found guilty of murdering ex's mother
Feb 08, 2013 (The Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A Brazos County jury Thursday spent two hours and 18 minutes deliberating before finding Stanley Wayne Robertson guilty of capital murder.
The 45-year-old was convicted of kidnapping and stabbing to death Annie Mae Toliver on Aug. 13, 2010.
Toliver was the mother of Robertson's ex-girlfriend, Tammy Toliver. The couple dated for about two years before breaking up in July 2010 when Robertson was arrested for aggravated assault against Tammy Toliver.
The punishment phase of the trial starts Friday morning, when Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons and assistant district attorney Brian Price will begin to build a case for the death penalty. Defense attorneys John Wright -- who works for the Texas Regional Public Defenders Office -- and Frank Blazek are expected to argue that Robertson is mentally retarded.
Defendants with mental retardation legally cannot be executed.
Annie Mae Toliver was stabbed 31 times and sustained seven other knife wounds from Robertson while strapped in the car with him as he drove from College Station to Fort Worth, according to testimony from the trial.
The victim's body was discovered in an empty parking lot behind a Fort Worth business about six hours after he'd kidnapped her from College Station.
When Toliver's daughter testified against her ex-boyfriend Tuesday, she said Robertson said over the phone that day that he was going to kill her mother "to hurt me like I hurt him."
Toliver was kidnapped by Robertson while sitting in the passenger seat of an Expedition that she, her son and Robertson had arrived in together at the Wal-Mart in College Station. The three went there after Robertson told Toliver he wanted to withdraw $300 for her to spend on his ex-girlfriend's children, according to testimony.
The defendant and Toliver's son entered the store while she waited in the vehicle. In a surveillance video played for jurors, Robertson is seen leaving the store without his victim's son and approaching the vehicle from the rear passenger side.
"He plunged that knife into her over and over and over again," Price said to jurors in closing arguments. "It started in the back seat ... stabbing her in the neck, the head."
Video played for the jury showed Robertson exit the vehicle about two minutes after getting in and running around to the driver side, where he got in and immediately fled with Toliver.
A medical examiner testified Thursday that Toliver was stabbed 11 times in the upper back and neck area. She also suffered two stab wounds to the chest, four to the abdomen, four to her forehead, and three in her face.
Toliver's left eyeball also was stabbed. Earlier in the week, prosecutors showed jurors the $2.97 kitchen utility knife Robertson used to kill his victim. Toliver's left sunglasses' lens was stuck on the bottom of the knife near the handle.
Of the 31 stab wounds, two were "potentially fatal," but Toliver could have been saved with medical treatment and instead died a slow and painful death, the medical examiner, Dr. Shipling Bao, said.
"Who does that What does that " Price remarked to jurors.
Robertson's attorneys focused much of their arguments on attempting to prove a lack of intent. They also asked jurors to carefully consider the evidence when determining if Toliver actually was kidnapped, since she and Robertson arrived and left in the same car together.
Blazek pointed to the type of knife used and where Toliver was stabbed in supporting the defense theory that proof didn't exist that the killing was intentional.
But when given the opportunity, Parsons quickly rebutted:
"He stabbed her over and over again and wouldn't let her go to the hospital ... It makes him even more sadistic to sit there and watch a person die. He sat there and watched her die and taunted her family."
More than 20 of Toliver's relatives and friends came for closing arguments, including the defendant's ex-girlfriend.
In Texas, capital murder is punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Opening arguments in the punishment phase -- which is expected to last at least a week -- are scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in the 85th District Courtroom.
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