Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Woman On Trial For Crime Committed By Husband

From the Dallas News:

Testimony starts today in the trial of an Arlington woman accused of causing the death of her lover at the hands of her husband by falsely claiming she was being raped. In a case that has drawn national attention, Tracy Roberson, 37, is charged with involuntary manslaughter for her role in the 2006 shooting death of Devin LaSalle. [...]

Her husband, Darrell Roberson, fired the fatal shots but is not facing any charges after a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict him. Tarrant County prosecutor Sean Colston said Mrs. Roberson's false rape claim led to Mr. Lasalle's death. "The actions of Tracy Roberson were absolutely reckless. Tracy Roberson got Devin LaSalle killed," he said Tuesday.

Defense attorney Jill Davis admitted her client was having an affair and yelled rape because she feared her husband would kill her too.

I find this case to be an appalling miscarriage of justice. The man who opened fire and killed another man is not only not being tried on manslaughter charges, a grand jury refused to indict him on any charges.

Mr. Roberson drew his gun and ordered his wife to get out of the truck. At some point, Mrs. Roberson, who has no criminal record, told her husband that she was being raped, officials said.

Mr. LaSalle, 32, tried to drive away but was struck in the head by one of Mr. Roberson's bullets, officials said.

Another man was messing with Mr. Roberson's wife and I believe the punishment for that crime was death. It seems like the only question for Mr. Roberson was whether one or two people would die. With a gun pointed at her, Mrs. Roberson made her statement under extreme duress and not in cold blood.

For those who think this prosecution of the wife and lack of prosecution of the husband is proper then in all genuine rape cases family members who commit non-self defense crimes should not be charged with any crime and those who committed the rape or who were complicit with that rape should be the one's charged with the crime committed by family members of rape victims.

Would those who blame this woman for a man's death feel the same way if there were no statement of rape? How would they feel if a man who cheated on his wife were charged with the murder committed by his wife when she caught him cheating and responded by shooting and killing the woman he was cheating with? If he hadn't cheated then the other woman wouldn't have died. By the standards used in the case against Mrs. Roberson that's all that's required.

A recent stabbing occurred in Houston, Texas by the father of a rape victim against a boy he believed witnessed that rape. If you support what's happening in the Roberson case then you must support this father's innocence in this stabbing and advocate for similar handling of this case to the case against Mrs. Roberson. All those involved in the rape of his daughter should be charged for this man's crime.

But that would support a very dangerous pattern of escalation and lawlessness.

In the stabbing case, the police now believe the man may have stabbed a boy not involved in his daughter's rape.

And this isn't the only case where a protective man attacked an innocent man. Jonathon Edington stabbed his neighbor, Barry James, because he believed the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter, but the investigation which followed found no evidence that the murdered man molested anybody -- adult or child.

So while some people might feel smug at seeing Mrs. Roberson prosecuted because of their feelings about false rape claims this prosecution isn't going to make innocent boys or men any safer.

Update (5/3): Tracy Roberson was convicted yesterday which I learned from snarky anonymous comments. One of these put the cause of this man's death as the affair, but which failed to acknowledge that the man who was killed was a full party to that affair and the events which preceded the husband coming home and pulling a gun. If what LaSalle was doing actually could be interpretted as rape by any observer, even a jealous and angry husband, then he must be viewed as contributing to his own death.

As anonymous said while excusing the actions of 2 men -- with only the order of the names reversed: Answer this question honestly. Would this tragedy have ever occurred had Devin LaSalle not engaged in an adulterous affair with Tracy Roberson?

Now let's reverse the normal wife blaming that pops up whenever a man is caught cheating on his wife: Would this tragedy have ever occurred had Darrell Roberson kept his wife sexually satisfied?

The idea that the man who pulled the trigger is the one responsible for that decision -- right or wrong --is one that many people who repeatedly tell women to take personal responsibility for their actions continue to reject.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:07 AM   2 comments links to this post


At May 01, 2008 1:07 AM, Blogger elle said...


I've come back to read this 4 or 5 times today. I can't believe it!

At May 01, 2008 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This case is crazy. It says that it is OK for men to kill people in fits of rage, but it is criminal for women to lie in self-defense. It is a gross level of woman-hatred.



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