Robertson Guilty of Capital Murder; Punishment Phase Begins Friday

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It took a Brazos County jury a little more than two hours to find Stanley Robertson guilty of capital murder Thursday.

At 10:40 a.m. Thursday, the jury began deliberating in the trial of the 45-year-old.

Both legal teams made their closing arguments Thursday morning. The jury -- seven men and five women -- told Judge J.D. Langley they had a decision at 12:56 p.m.

Robertson will now face either life in prison without possibility of parole or the death penalty. The State of Texas will seek death. Opening arguments in the punishment phase are set for 9:00 a.m. Friday.

On August 13, 2010, Robertson went with Toliver and her son, Curtis, to the College Station Walmart. Robertson had reportedly told them he wanted to get money for Tammy Toliver, Annie's daughter and Robertson's ex-girlfriend. Instead, Robertson ditched Curtis in the store, then attacked Annie with a knife as she waited in a vehicle in the parking lot.

Robertson would proceed to drive to Fort Worth, dump Annie's body in a parking lot, then lead police on a chase that ended with him intentionally crashing his SUV into a patrol car.

In its closing arguments, the defense told jurors that if there were any reasonable doubts in their mind as to whether, by the letter of the law, a kidnapping occurred or that Robertson intended to kill his victim, then they should find him guilty of a lesser crime.

The jury had the option to find Robertson guilty of capital murder, murder, felony murder or manslaughter.

In phone conversations made while he was driving with a dying Annie Toliver, Robertson tells others he was doing this because Tammy had not visited him in jail after a July 2010 domestic violence incident that ended their two-year relationship. He was upset that she was no longer part of his life and not returning his calls.

The prosecution said Robertson's intent was clear by virtue of the places he stabbed Toliver -- the head, neck and back among them -- and the statements he made to police and Tammy while he drove to Fort Worth. They said it was a clear kidnapping of Annie, that she was taken against her will after being attacked in Brazos County.

In its opening arguments, the defense conceded that Robertson had caused the death of Annie Toliver.

For the jury to convict Robertson of capital murder, they had to believe the kidnapping took place along with the murder. Otherwise, they would have had to choose a lesser-included charge. Only capital murder carries the possibility of the death penalty.

The prosecution called witnesses from Monday morning until Wednesday morning. The defense chose to call no witnesses.