Skinhead convicted in killings of Tampa homeless men
White supremacist James Robertson couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
Trying to finagle his way out of a long prison sentence for bank robbery, Robertson told authorities about two cold murder cases involving homeless men in Tampa. He pointed the FBI to three of his skinhead buddies.
Robertson, who admitted being at the murder scenes, portrayed himself as a minor participant.
But a federal jury on Tuesday convicted Robertson of committing two murders in a racketeering enterprise after a two-week trial. Prosecutors told them Robertson played a leading role in the 1998 beating deaths of Alfred Williams, 62, and Richard Arseneau, 44.
“These men had no material goods, no wealth,” prosecutor Lee Bentley told jurors in closing statements. “They were struggling to survive. This defendant and three of his associates took the only thing these men had left — their lives.”
Robertson, 32, faces life in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich. A sentencing date has not been set.
The killings may have gone unsolved but for Robertson’s botched effort at leniency in an unrelated bank robbery case five years later.
Prosecutors say Robertson and three other skinheads were members of a group called “Blood and Honour” who wandered Tampa’s streets in the fall of 1998 on a predatory hunt they called “bum rolling.”