Convicted murderer Jeremy Spielbauer sentenced to life in prison
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Jeremy Spielbauer has been sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for the murder of his ex-wife Robin Spielbauer.
The jury reached a guilty verdict of the lesser included offense of murder this afternoon.
The prosecution and defense both delivered their closing arguments this morning in the capital murder trial of Jeremy Spielbauer, who has now been convicted of killing his ex-wife Robin Spielbauer.
The jury was in the deliberation room for almost three hours before they found Jeremy Spielbauer guilty of murder.
When the prosecution phase began, the state called a friend of Robin's as well as her father to the stand, who both described the challenges Jeremy and Robin had in their marriage.
During closing statements of the punishment phase, Randall County District Attorney James Farren asked the jury to make sure in five or 10 years, they don't pick up the newspaper or turn on the television and see Jeremy's face again for a similar crime.
On the other hand, Defense Attorney Joe Marr Wilson asked them to consider Jeremy's relationship with his children and to "exercise their humanity."
Emotions were running high for Robin's parents, Steven and Jackie Bledsoe today as the jury reached a decision.
"You never expect it to happen to you and then when it does, it's just an emotional roller coaster and I don't think we'll ever get off the ride," said Jackie.
They both said they feel like justice was served for Robin today.
"He's gonna go where he did a wrong," said Steven. "He ain't gonna be able to do it to anyone else's daughter."
Defense Attorney Joe Marr Wilson said they were happy with the lesser charge.
"We were pleased that the verdict wasn't capital murder because we always felt that it was extremely overcharged as a case," said Wilson.
On the other hand, Randall County District Attorney James Farren said they were surprised.
"I don't know why they decided on murder rather than capital murder but it seemed like a very astute group of people," said Farren. "I'm sure they had good reasons for why they made the decision."
Farren said he was pleased with the life sentence.
"It is a sigh of relief for the family, for us and for Katie [Phipps], she's now been exonerated," said Farren. "Now it's not just us saying that she didn't do this, that she's innocent, 12 jurors who heard all the evidence said- when they said he's guilty, they said she's innocent."
After being initially arrested in the crime, Phipps said she was relieved and shocked after hearing the verdict.
She confidently said Jeremy deserves his life sentence.
"He will have an all expenses paid trip to TDCJ," said Phipps. "He will be known by an eight digit number for the rest of his life and I hope he enjoys it."
She also expressed sympathy for Robin's parents.
"I'm heartbroken for Robin's family," said Phipps. "The guilty verdict gives justice to Robin but it doesn't fix the problems they're going to have with those kids. I can only imagine what it's going to be like to raise two kids who have had their mother taken away from them and their father did it. And now he's gone because of it."
Jackie Bledsoe stated at the end of the day that Jeremy not only destroyed Robin's life, but many others.
However, she has found some forgiveness in her heart.
"The Lord says I have to forgive him and I believe that, and I do forgive him for the murder," said Jackie. "Robin hated pain and she hated being alone. So for him to leave her out there and not tell us, not call 911, not... even if it was an accident, to just leave her and leave her out there on that road for 10 to 14 hours. I'll never forgive that ever. No matter what happens."
Robin's parents, who had joint custody with Jeremy, say they've now filed paperwork for full custody of Robin's children.
Wilson said Jeremy has already filled out the paperwork for an appeal and an appellate lawyer has been appointed.
Copyright 2018 KFDA. All rights reserved.