Grace Robotti's fate is now in the hands of jurors - InfoNews

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Grace Robotti's fate is now in the hands of jurors

Grace Elinor Robotti is led out of Penticton courthouse after a brief appearance in 2015.
April 05, 2017 - 1:10 PM

KELOWNA – Did Roxanne Louie provoke the fight that got her killed in 2015 or did Grace Robotti seize an opportunity to murder someone she saw as a threat to her family?

The seven men and five women of the jury in Grace Robotti's second-degree murder trial will decide that, among other things, when deliberation starts tomorrow morning.

The trial began in Kelowna Supreme Court March 21, 2017 with Grace pleading guilty to interfering with a dead body but not guilty to second-degree murder. She admits she killed Louie, the mother of her great-grandson, with a metal bar during a fight in her Penticton mobile home Jan. 4, 2015.

She admits her brother, Pier Robotti, helped her by holding Louie down and she admits to an extensive and elaborate cover up in the week following that included dumping her body in the woods.

Robotti’s lawyer James Pennington said despite these "troublesome" facts, she did not commit second-degree murder.

“Place yourself in the shoes of Miss Robotti,” he said today, April 5. “The situation is this. You have a woman who is in her mid 60s being confronted by an armed and aggressive woman in her mid 20s, the latter armed with a weapon. What do you do?

“If you’re a woman in your mid 60s who has … never been in a fight before, this is not the time for an exercise in calm deliberations…. No, you’re being confronted by someone brandishing a weapon that could inflict serious bodily harm on you. Maybe even worse. What do you do?”

Pennington says the only reason Grace and Pier did not go to police immediately is because they were worried about Louie’s young son, who was in an adjacent room during the fatal fight.

Crown lawyer Mallory Treddenick says Grace knew she was going to kill Louie as soon as she hit her with the bar while her brother held her down and the only reason the siblings turned themselves in was because Pier told another couple who went to police.

The number of blows, she says, “speaks to the anger she felt towards Miss Louie.”

“There was never any time when using a crowbar was a reasonable use of force. If her intention was to shock her… she did not have to hit her in the head.

“Miss Robotti wanted Miss Louie dead and was prepared to use as much force and hit her as many times as necessary to bring that about.”

Justice Dev Dley will give the jury final instructions tomorrow, April 6, and task them with deciding if Grace committed second-degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter. 

The outcome of Pier Robotti’s case will also be released sometime after.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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