Jury says Grace Robotti murdered Roxanne Louie
Grace Robotti and her brother Pier Robotti both pleaded guilty to moving Roxanne Louie's dead body in 2015, but this week a Kelowna jury found Grace guilty of second-degree murder.
(STEVE ARSTAD / iNFOnews.ca)
April 06, 2017 - 9:17 PM
KELOWNA – A Kelowna jury has found Grace Robotti guilty of second-degree murder.
Robotti was on trial for murdering 26-year-old Roxanne Louie, the mother of Robotti’s great-grandson. She admitted she killed Louie during an early morning fight at her Penticton home on Jan. 4, 2015 but says it was out of fear for her life.
Grace’s lawyer James Pennington had the more difficult job of convincing the jury that 26 blows to the head with a metal bar was justifiable, especially considering Grace’s brother Pier was holding her down at the time.
Pennington said the siblings didn't call an ambulance, dumped the body in the woods and lied to police, family and friends for a week after so they had time to make arrangements for the care of Louie’s young son. Roxanne Louie lived in Vancouver but traveled to Penticton regularly, often leaving her son with Grace.
Crown lawyers John Swanson and Mallory Treddenick focussed on Grace and Roxanne’s strained relationship, how Grace resented her, mistrusted her family and ultimately seized an opportunity to kill her. She said the pair only turned themselves in because they were going to be arrested anyway.
It was enough to convince the jury of seven men and five women that Grace knew her blows would likely kill Louie and wanted her to die.
Throughout the trial, which began in Penticton but moved to Kelowna in 2016, friends and family of Roxanne Louie have been present in the gallery. The Robotti’s however, had no visible support from either friends or family. Grace’s brother Pier, daughter Danielle and Grace’s grandson were called to testify but did not attend other days of the trial.
Pier Robotti pleaded guilty to interfering with a dead body earlier this year but the results have been protected by a publication ban pending the outcome of Grace’s trial.
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