Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Elizabeth Larson, Lake County News,
and Craig Crosby, Kennebec Journal staff writer
LAKEPORT, Calif. — A former Augusta man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury here found him guilty Thursday of the first-degree murder of a Maine couple over a drug dispute.
The jury deliberated just over five hours before finding Robby Beasley guilty on all counts, including two murder charges. The verdict was announced about 5 p.m. eastern time.
Beasley, 32, was also found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and special allegations of committing multiple murders in the first or second degree, committing the offense with the intent to inflict great bodily injury and use of a firearm.
Beasley’s grandmother, Charlotte Beasley or Richmond, was at work Thursday night when she learned of the verdict.
“He told me he wasn’t guilty,” she said in an interview. “For two years he’s told me he’s innocent and I believed him.”
Beasley faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8, according to The Record-Bee newspaper in California.
According to authorities, Beasley killed Frank and Yvette Maddox of Augusta, Maine, on Jan. 22, 2010, alongside Morgan Valley Road near Lower Lake.
Beasley did not take the stand during the trial. His co-defendant in the case, former Gardiner Area High School wrestling standout Elijah Bae McKay, 30, did testify. McKay grew up with Beasley in Maine and helped him start in the marijuana growing trade in California.
The prosecution claimed Beasley killed the Maddoxes after they stole some of his marijuana.
McKay has so far not been scheduled for trial, although he faces the same charges and is alleged to have provided Beasley with the 9-mm handgun he used to shoot the Maddoxes and helped destroy evidence afterward.
McKay’s grandfather, Clarence McKay, who continues to live in Maine, declined to comment on Beasley’s conviction late Thursday.
Charlotte Beasley said she had hoped to go to California for the trial but was unable to pay for the trip.
She said her grandson has continued to assure her of his innocence throughout the two-plus years he has been in custody in Clear Lake, Calif. She said she has prayed for Robby Beasley every day.
“He said, ‘Nana, I don’t need your prayers because I’m innocent,’” she said.