2 men identify roommate as attacker in 2015 stabbing
Byron Roberson’s family and neighbors say he was kind man, a single father who opened two spare bedrooms in his Pflugerville home to those who were down on their luck and needed a place to get their life in order.
One recipient of that benevolence is accused of killing Roberson, stabbing him 24 times with a knife and attacking other tenants at his Endless Shore Lane two-story home in August 2015.
Travis County prosecutors haven’t established a motive for the attack, which was apparently unprovoked, but they do have eyewitness testimony from two surviving victims, including Roberson’s adult son, who identified Christopher Harris, 30, as the assailant from the witness stand Tuesday.
“One hundred percent positive,” Diamond Roberson, 22, testified.
His friend, Reshard Rogers, stared long and angrily at the defendant before he took the stand. Rogers, 22, said Harris is undoubtedly the person who stabbed him four or five times. “Very sure,” he said.
But both of them are mistaken, says Harris’ attorney, Chris Tolbert, who noted in opening statements that his client also was injured that night.
“Just because someone has a belief does not make that belief true,” said Tolbert, who suggested someone else broke into the home and went on a stabbing rampage.
According to the arrest affidavit, Harris surrendered to deputies hours after the stabbings, emerging from a hiding place covered in blood and wearing only underwear and socks. He had several cuts and injuries to his hands, including a finger that was nearly severed, the affidavit said. He never confessed to the stabbings.
Witness testimony is expected to continue through Thursday before the jury of eight women and five men begin deliberat-
Defense attorney Chris Tolbert makes his opening remarks to the jury in the murder trial of Christopher Harris on Tuesday. Harris is accused in the stabbing death of Byron Roberson two years ago. Tolbert suggested the attack was committed by an intruder.
Christopher Harris (left) rented a room from Byron Roberson. Two roommates testified he wounded them with a knife before fatally attacking his landlord in August 2015