Jury finds man guilty of mur­der in fa­tal 2015 stab­bing

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Ryan Au­tullo rautullo@states­man.com Har­ris

Mul­ti­ple wit­nesses to a 2015 deadly stab­bing at­tack in a quiet neigh­bor­hood in north­east­ern Travis County iden­ti­fied the at­tacker as a black man with dread­locks, stand­ing un­der 6 feet tall.

Christopher Har­ris tes­ti­fied Thurs­day at his mur­der trial that the real as­sailant was an in­truder that he didn’t know. But two other men who were in the house that Aug. 7 evening said it was him. The jury ac­cepted their story. Need­ing nearly two hours to sort through ev­i­dence in the fa­tal stab­bing of the home’s owner, 44-year-old By­ron Rober­son, a Travis County jury of four men and eight women re­turned a guilty ver­dict early Thurs­day evening. Har­ris faces a sen­tence of up to life in pri­son when the jury re­turns Friday for the trial’s pun­ish­ment phase.

Har­ris — who rented a room from Rober­son, an af­fa­ble ca­ble TV sales­man in Pflugerville — took the wit­ness stand Thurs­day and in­sisted he was a vic­tim him­self, say­ing that cuts to his hand and thigh got there from the same per­son who killed Rober­son and injured two other room­mates, in­clud­ing Rober­son’s adult son. The real at­tacker, Har­ris said, wore dread­locks and stood about 5 feet, 10 inches tall — a de­scrip­tion that matched the 30-year-old Har­ris on the night of the mur­der.

“The story he told ac­tu­ally hap­pened,” prose­cu­tor Les­lie Booker told the jury in clos­ing ar­gu­ments.

RALPH BAR­RERA / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Christopher Har­ris (above) was found guilty Thurs­day of the mur­der of ca­ble TV sales­man By­ron Rober­son (left) in Au­gust 2015. He may face life in pri­son.

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