Brian Keith Roberson, 36, was executed by lethal injection on 9 August in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of an elderly couple who lived next door to him.
In August 1986, Roberson, then 22, stabbed James Louis Boots, 79, and his 75-year-old wife, Lillian, to death, then burglarized their home of assorted jewelry. Roberson was identified through a bloody fingerprint found in the house. He was also found in posession of a piece of the Boots' jewelry.
"I was walking home yesterday, and I went up to the Boots' front door," Mr. Roberson said in his initial confession to police. "I knocked on the door, and he came to the door. He opened the door, and I pushed my way in. I started fighting with Mr. Boots. The lady came up from behind him. I started stabbing them. After I stabbed them, I went through the house, and then I went out the front door." Soon after his arrest, he told a reporter, I don't remember why I was there, but I remember some violence coming over me." When he was arrested, Roberson added, "I had a gold necklace on my neck I must have took from them, and my right hand was cut up."
A day after the killings, Roberson said, "I know I did it, but I don't know why. I was just juiced up." Roberson said that he had just come off a night of drinking liquor and smoking PCP mixed with formaldehyde. "They were the nicest people on the block," he added, noting that he had frequently mowed their lawn and their families had exchanged Christmas cards for several years.
Mike Fleming, a grandson of the Boots', told reporters that his grandfather had loaned Roberson some money and that Roberson still owed him that money when he went over to borrow some more. Fleming believes that James Boots refused to lend Roberson any more money, and Roberson became enraged.
In 1974, Roberson's own father was stabbed to death by a drug addict. At his mother's wishes, prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in that case. Roberson's father's murderer was paroled after 6 years in prison.
Continued on Page 2