Central Texas Man Sentenced To 50 Years In Sister’s Murder

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email
A Central Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after a judge found him guilty of murdering his sister in 2011 over a loud television.

James Robinson (Jail photo)

HILLSBORO (April 17, 2013)—James Edward Robinson, 54, of Hill County, was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years in state prison for killing his sister over a television she thought was too loud.

Sixty-sixth District Judge Bob McGregor sentenced Robinson after the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge on a plea agreement with Hill County District Attorney Mark Pratt.

Pratt said Robinson would have to spend at least 25 years behind bars before he could apply for parole.

Police reports from May 26, 2011 show deputies were sent at around 10 p.m. to a home in the 400 block of County Road 1414 in north-central hill County in response to a 911 call.

When deputies arrived they found Cyndi Laird, 46, dead on the living room floor and her husband Joe Laird, 52, wounded by gunfire.

A 70-year-old man and his 63-year-old wife, who were also in the home, witnessed the shooting, but escaped injury, although the gunman did fire a shotgun blast in the man's direction, authorities said.

They were identified as the mother and stepfather of the slain woman, Cyndi Laird and her brother, James Robinson, who's charged in the shooting.

"Early reports indicate that the offense occurred when there was a disagreement between the shooter and the deceased, who are brother and sister, over the volume of the television," then Hill County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyon said.

Robinson was later found hiding in a wooded area near the home.

He was arrested after firing a single shot, authorities said, but it's not clear whether he was firing at officers or attempting to shoot himself.

The weapon used in the shootings was recovered, authorities said.

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