Murder suspect in Nacogdoches case pleads to 12 years on lesser charge

Anthony Roberts mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Anthony Roberts mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Jena Johnson - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Laneville man accused in the death of a three-year-old Nacogdoches girl has agreed to a 12-year prison sentence.

Anthony Tyrone Roberts, 38, originally charged with capital murder, pleaded to the lesser charge of injury to a child.

According to a previous report, Roberts pushed his girlfriend's daughter, Kaylen Broumley, which caused her death in February 2009. Roberts' girlfriend, Joy Yates, said Roberts convinced her to tell the story that Kaylen had fallen off a horse.

Roberts' attorney, John Heath Jr., could not comment on why prosecutors agreed to the lesser charge, but did say the death is still being investigated for further criminal activity.

"I'm a father of three children and I was brought to tears when that father was talking about how he lost his baby and there is nothing that the judicial system can every bring back to fix the death of a child," Heath said.

Kaylen's father, Rocky Broumley, gave a victim impact statement during the plea hearing in District Judge Campbell Cox's courtroom. He stared in silence at Roberts for a few moments before he began speaking.

"There's not a minute in my day that I don't think about what you did," Broumley said. "I don't wish this on you or your mother.

"I can't believe I have to sit here and breathe the same air that you breathe."

At the time of the child's death Child Protective Services was investigating a child abuse complaint against the child's mother filed two months earlier.  Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss said his office had questioned Joy Simmons, also known as Joy Yates, and afterwards said he was satisfied that she did not cause the death of her child.  He said Yates was only a witness and not a suspect.

An arrest affidavit said Yates told investigators that Roberts, her live-in boyfriend at the time, had delayed her from seeking medical attention for her daughter for several hours.  An autopsy revealed Kaylen died from a severe head injury.  Doctors also found multiple bruises and scars over the child's face and body.

The State Attorney General's Office handle the prosecution, due to conflict between Nacogdoches County District Attorney Nicole LoStracco and people surrounding the case when LoStracco was in private practice. A Nacogdoches County grand jury in August of last year indicted Roberts for capital murder in Kaylen's death.

If convicted of capital murder, Roberts would have faced a life sentence.

What do you think of the 12 year sentence given to Anthony Tyrone Roberts in the death of 3 year old Kaylen Broumley?  Take our web poll to voice your opinion.

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