Husband Allegedly Kills Wife's Lover; Wife Indicted

ByABC News via via logo

April 1, 2007 — -- It's a love triangle with a Texas twist.

In the early morning hours of December 11, police say Darrell Roberson shot and killed Devin LaSalle, the man he says he thought was attacking his wife, Tracy Roberson, in a truck outside their home.

"The man ran up to the truck and through the driver's window, just shot and emptied the clip right into the man point blank," said witness William Carlisle.

Prosecutors say Tracy Roberson yelled out to her husband for help, crying rape, when in fact she and LaSalle were lovers. A text message to LaSalle revealed their relationship, saying, "Hi friend, come see me please! I need to feel your warm embrace! If ur unable to I completely understand!!! Call me."

Now, in a shocking twist, Tracy Roberson has been charged with manslaughter. A grand jury chose not to indict the actual shooter, Darrell Roberson, possibly viewing him as a protective husband and instead indicted his wife on a manslaughter charge for allegedly setting in motion a killing based on a false accusation.

"They were reacting with their gut," said Mark Osler, law professor at Baylor University. "The way they saw it was from the perspective of the husband, they put themselves in his place and thought that it was reasonable that he would fire in that circumstance. That mindset here in Texas is fairly prevalent."

But some of Roberson's neighbors believe he knew about the alleged affair. LaSalle's close friend Arthur Thomas believes both husband and wife should pay for the crime.

"An eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth, that means a life for a life," Thomas said.

On "Good Morning America Weekend Edition," Darrell Roberson's attorney Chris Mulder dismissed the idea that his client knew about the affair.

"We haven't spoken about that, but I do not believe that he did," Mulder said.

Mulder maintained Roberson was trying to save his wife from what sounded like a life-threatening situation.

"In Texas, a person is justified in shooting and killing another person to defend that person or defend themselves, and I think that's what Darrell was doing for his wife," he said.

The manslaughter charge carries a possible sentence of two to 20 years imprisonment. Tracy Roberson has also been charged with making a false report to the police -- punishable by up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines -- for telling them that LaSalle was trying to rape her.

Despite everything, Mulder said that the Robersons are planning to stay together. But Court TV legal analyst Lisa Bloom believes regardless of her status with her husband, it will be hard for a jury to see Tracy Roberson in a favorable light.

"She's in a pick-up truck committing adultery. She just doesn't look good here, and the police report corroborates the husband's claim that she said she was being raped," she said. "I think he's going to get a lot of sympathy from the jury."

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