Dead Center

Bad things keep happening to people in Shawn Roberts's orbit.

Shortly after Tara Sganga met and fell in love with Shawn Roberts, she became aware of the helicopters.

She had never seen them before. Once Roberts pointed them out to her, and once she started on the crystal meth, she finally understood why Roberts had been so frightened. They hovered outside Sganga's apartment, and they followed on the freeway. Secret agents.

On Roberts's behalf, she approached strangers in public and demanded to know why they were following the couple. Roberts was mixed up with something, but whenever friends and family asked Sganga what she was talking about, she would say something like, "I can't tell you. I'm in too deep."

Roberts was charged with drug possession in Angleton two months before he was disbarred.
Courtesy of Brazoria County District Clerk
Roberts was charged with drug possession in Angleton two months before he was disbarred.
Sganga wrote a letter to Roberts shortly before she died stating, "I want my life back and I am sure you do, too."
Courtesy of Sganga family
Sganga wrote a letter to Roberts shortly before she died stating, "I want my life back and I am sure you do, too."

They met at a party at a mutual friend's house on New Year's Eve 2005. That Roberts was attracted to Sganga was no surprise. A slim, 5'2" brunette, the 31-year-old Sganga had an outgoing, vibrant personality that masked a chronic insecurity.

At some point that night, the solidly built, 6'1" Roberts found Sganga and laid down the Shawn Roberts Story: He was a hotshot criminal defense attorney. He was a protégé of the legendary Racehorse Haynes. He'd also been a successful sports agent, representing San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer. At just 35, he had a gorgeous townhome near the Galleria and a $98,000 Mercedes Roadster. He let Sganga drive it, and was nice enough not to tell her that was only because he had stopped paying the note. The creditors wanted it back, so he couldn't be seen driving it. Still, it was important he had it in his possession.

Possessions were important to Roberts, because he was wrestling with a serious drug problem, and as more money went in his arm, the possessions became fewer and fewer. He always seemed to hold onto his guns, though. He had a passion for firearms. Knives, too. On the rare occasion one of Sganga's girlfriends visited, Roberts would proudly display a knife or gun. The women weren't sure what message, if any, he was trying to send, but it gave them the chills.

Sganga's good friend Maha, who asked that her last name not be used for this story, didn't like Roberts from the start. Maha didn't like the strange calls she'd receive from Sganga, full of panic that Maha chalked up to crystal meth: "He's planning on killing me, Maha," Tara would say. Maha would just respond, "Tara, stop the drugs. You're hallucinating."

Sganga's mother and sister had bad feelings about Roberts as well, although they bit their lips at first. And that was hard to do, because sometimes Roberts would be so out of it that he would pass out during meals, face-down in his food.

Eventually, Sganga let Roberts move in. He was a wounded little bird, and Sganga was going to nurse him back to health, because that's the kind of thing she always did.

Soon, Sganga was hard to get ahold of. Her cell phone's voice mail was always full. Roberts would steal her phone and hold onto it for days, and when Sganga was finally able to call friends or family, it would be a rushed call, as if she were using a jailhouse phone. Roberts didn't want her seeing her friends. On the rare times Sganga made an appearance, her friends and family noted how gaunt she'd become. Her hair had grown brittle. She'd talk about the helicopters, or, at her worst, would say that she'd overheard Roberts on the phone, plotting her death. She told people that, scrolling through her cell phone one day, she found out Roberts had taken a picture of her while she slept and sent it to a mysterious third party.

Before Sganga met Roberts, her family and friends could never picture her coming to such an undignified end, being found in a bathtub with heroin in her system. But when they looked back on it, they wondered if, from the moment Roberts entered her life, such a thing was inevitable.

And over the next three years, other families whose loved ones entered Roberts's orbit might wonder the same thing.

The first to go was Roberts's own mother, in August 2008, 17 months after Sganga died. By this time, Roberts was living with a woman named Amanda Linscomb, whom he would marry in Las Vegas in September 2008. Roberts's mother slept on a cot in their Manvel home. Her life ended with a bullet to the brain in that home's backyard. The death was ruled a suicide. Roberts told authorities she did it right in front of him. Linscomb was allegedly inside at the time.

March 2009: A man Roberts met in rehab moved into that same home and overdosed four days later.

April 2010: Linscomb overdosed in a friend's Willis apartment, while the friend and Roberts were present. The case is still under investigation by the Texas Rangers.

August 2010: The wife's friend, who was not diabetic, overdosed on Glyburide, a pill used to control type II diabetes, and slipped into a coma.

September 2010: Roberts was acquitted in Harris County on a felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance in the death of Sganga. The case was immediately expunged, and there is no public record of the trial. Prosecutors and investigators are not able to discuss the trial because, in a sense, it is like it never happened. (Roberts denies any responsibility for any of these deaths and the non-fatal overdose.)

But there was a mysterious death. And there was evidence that disappeared. And then there was another death. And another. And another. And the only thing they have in common is Shawn Roland Roberts.
_____________________

It's not clear who pulled Tara Ann Sganga out of the bathtub on March 19, 2007.

A report filed by medical unit 78 of the Houston Fire Department states that when the crew arrived on the scene, Sganga was "in care of A86," and that she was "found in a tub of water by A86 and moved to floor."

According to the Houston Fire Department's open records division, "A86" means "Ambulance Crew 86," Station 86 being the station closest to Sganga's apartment complex. The medics had arrived at 12:26 p.m.

Sganga's family says the prosecutor in Roberts's 2010 trial believed "A86" was EMS code for "third party" — meaning Roberts. However, Roberts is referred to elsewhere in the report as "the boyfriend." It's unclear why he would alternately be identified as "A86" and "the boyfriend."

If the fire department's report is accurate, then Roberts allowed his dead or dying girlfriend to remain submerged in the bathtub, not bothering to pull her out and administer CPR.

But if what Sganga's family recounts about the trial is true, it means the prosecutor believed Roberts over the fire department, and bought what he told the police when they arrived on the scene: that he was the one who pulled her from the tub and tried to save her life.

Either way, Sganga was laid on the floor, wet from the bath and warm to the touch. Blood trickled from her nose and from a hematoma on the back of her head. She had a bleeding laceration on her right elbow, and the floor was littered with the broken glass of a candlestick. There was a knife in the sink and blood on the lip of the tub. An open tube of black hair dye lay on the tub as well; Sganga's wet hair was coated with the coloring. Although it wasn't noted in the HFD report, the medical examiner would later catalog a series of blunt force injuries to Sganga's head and face, including a three-by-two-inch contusion to the front of her left ear and a "cluster of red-blue contusions" along her jawline.

Roberts told paramedics that Sganga had taken some Vicodin and Xanax that morning, and he hadn't seen her in the last half hour because he'd been asleep. No, there was no fight or argument that morning.

The paramedic who filed the report called it a "possible crime scene" and summoned the police. Roberts told the detectives that he had pulled Sganga from the tub. Years later, at the trial that never happened, the prosecutor would tell the jury that the police observed that Roberts's shirt was dry. Although it's not reflected in the public portion of the police report, according to sources Roberts told police that someone else had been in the apartment. Sganga's family wouldn't know this person's identity for another three years.

Roberts didn't follow the ambulance that carried his girlfriend to West Houston Medical Center. After the police left, he had the apartment to himself for hours. No one from Sganga's family saw him after that day. He didn't attend Sganga's funeral. The Sganga family would not see him again until the trial three years later.

Because Roberts never notified Sganga's family of her death, her sister Maria didn't find out until she was notified by police at seven that evening. She rushed to her sister's apartment. Her description of what happened next has not wavered in the three and a half years she's been demanding an explanation for it.

When she knocked on the locked door, she was surprised to be greeted by Roberts's mother, Sandra Roberts. Maria didn't know what to think. Once she stepped inside, she could hear the rumble of the washing machine. After a moment, she asked, "Where's your son?"

Sandra said he'd gone to see Sganga in the hospital, which, as far as lies go, was terrible. Maria asked Sandra what she was doing there and warned that she was going to call the police. She peeked inside the bathroom and the bedroom, only to see that Sganga's bed had been stripped. That's when everything seemed to hit her, and she crumpled to the floor, sobbing. Then Roberts offered another story: Now, instead of being at the hospital, her son had gone to retrieve his car.

Sandra said there was no need to call the cops, that her son had just wanted his suits. He needed his suits for work. Maria collected herself and followed Sandra to the guest bedroom closet, where she pulled two suits from the rack.

"Your son did something to my sister," Maria said. "This isn't going to end."

But Sandra simply walked out of the apartment, her parting words like a blow to Maria's gut: "Everyone does their own drugs."

Sad, confused, furious, Maria stood at the entrance of her dead sister's bedroom. The apartment was a mess, so she proceeded to clean. Going through Sganga's stuff, Maria realized something strange: Her sister's jewelry, wallet, cell phone and car keys were nowhere to be found. But after a while, she was too drained to wonder about any of the previous few hours anymore. She collapsed, exhausted, on the couch and slept until 2 a.m.

She left and returned later that morning, going straight to the laundry room. The comforter from Sganga's bed was bunched up on the floor, spotted with what looked like blood. When Maria picked it up, she found a bloody pillowcase and a man's white T-shirt stuffed inside.

In her sister's bedroom, Maria found a bloody blue camisole, balled up and thrown in the corner, behind a dresser. She photographed these items, and decided to do the same with the bathroom and the bathroom door, which was smeared and streaked with blood and black dye. Two thick horizontal and parallel streaks, situated about six inches apart, ran from the center of the door and onto the frame.

Bewildered, she called the detective she had spoken with the day before and asked why police never found any of these things. According to Maria, the investigator said, "We only focused our investigation in the bathroom where the incident took place."

Police retrieved the items, but they subsequently disappeared. Like Roberts's expunged trial record, it was as if the bloody clothes had never existed.
_____________________

Roberts proved to be a difficult interview for this story.

Via Facebook, he accused the Houston Press of waiting until the last minute to contact him for comment, and threatened to sue unless this story was held. But in addition to accusing the Press of sinister motives, Roberts promised that this was "a story of injustices, oppression, retaliation." He claimed that "I am a goldmine of information. You have the courage to print what I tell you, and I'll make you famous."

Based on this response, the Press asked for an immediate phone interview, although Roberts insisted on meeting in person. When asked, at one point, if the interview process could at least begin over the phone, Roberts said he was too busy watching football games. He said he would call later to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Over lunch. What remains a mystery is why he wanted to discuss things like his mother shooting herself in the head directly in front of him — and the deaths of his girlfriend and his wife at tragically young ages — over crawfish.

When Roberts never called, the Press followed up. Roberts insisted the Press pick him up and drive him to a nearby crawfish joint. Ultimately, Roberts was able to find his own transportation, and when the Press met him at the restaurant, he expressed dismay that he was not being treated to lunch.

He would later explain that he insisted on a personal meeting in order to better gauge the Press's motivation. But a personal meeting, as opposed to a phone call, also allowed the Press to observe Roberts's blank expression, glassy eyes, greasy hair and rambling tangents utterly devoid of emotion.

Roberts never delivered on that gold mine. He would only speak off the record. The Press cut the interview short, but gave him another opportunity to answer questions on the record via Facebook the next day. After what seemed like an endless series of stall tactics, Roberts finally agreed to answer questions. But the answers did not seem complete, or sensible.

When asked if Sandra ever went to Sganga's apartment on the day of her death, and, if so, for what purpose, he wrote, "Yes, my mother came up to console me and be with the family (Tara's family). However, before I got back to our apartment, my mother told me she was threatened, ordered out of the apartment, and was told by Tara's sister and mother that someone would pay for this. I believe the quote was 'There will be blood on the streets.'" The problem with this is that no one in Sganga's family was even notified of her death until the evening, and there is no record of Roberts, Sandra and anyone from Sganga's family all being in the apartment at the same time.

When asked if he called Sganga's family to tell them of Sganga's death, or if he attended Sganga's funeral, he wrote that he "tried calling the family members, of which the numbers were changed or not answered." Again, this violates logic, because Roberts was in possession of Sganga's cell phone after her death, and as such, had all of her family's and friends' current contact numbers.
_____________________

Maria returned a week after her sister died to pack up her belongings.

Pulling up in her car, Maria found it odd that Sganga's Dodge Durango was no longer there. The weird feeling was compounded when, from the hallway outside her sister's apartment, she noticed that the door frame was cracked and the door was slightly ajar. She called out and identified herself to see if anyone was inside. When no one responded, she carefully stepped inside and saw right away that the apartment had been cleaned out. The TV was gone. Sganga's laptop was gone. Sganga's clothes were gone.

The apartment was wiped out. Now it made sense that Sganga's Durango had disappeared. Maria called the police and filed a stolen-vehicle report.

Meanwhile, the Sganga family became aware of how Roberts was mourning his loss. Ten days after his bloody and battered girlfriend was pulled from a bathtub, he went into a cell phone store, identified himself as Sganga's common-law husband and asked that her phone account be reactivated and switched to his name.

The Durango was spotted a few weeks later, parked on a street in the Fifth Ward. Inside were Sganga's tote bag, her case of CDs, a black folder stuffed with papers, a laptop with Sganga's silver ring wedged inside, and a 32-year-old white male passed out in the back. When police were able to rouse him from his slumber, the man explained that a guy he knew from a certain social circle, a Shawn Roberts, gave him $50 to clean out the apartment. (The Durango had not been hotwired; the man had Sganga's keys, which he said he got from Roberts.)

The thief would serve three years in prison; no charges were filed against Roberts.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Maritza Antu explained in a June 2007 letter to Sganga's mother why no burglary charges would be filed against Roberts. The letter refers to two drug charges filed against Roberts in May 2007, when he was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and heroin.

"I have reviewed your case and concluded that criminal charges should not be filed," Antu wrote. She explained that Roberts was a murder suspect who already had two drug charges pending, and they weren't going to pursue a burglary charge. There was also not enough evidence.

The man who served three years for taking Sganga's possessions is now out of prison. Asking not to be named, he told the Press that back in 2007, he was a speed-freak who nonetheless had an excellent heroin connection, which is how he came to know Roberts. He said Roberts explained one day that his wife had just died, and he couldn't bear to return to their apartment to collect "their" things. If the guy would help him move, Roberts would even sign over his late wife's Dodge Durango to him.

According to the recently paroled man, he had no idea he was committing a burglary, much less for someone who was the subject of a homicide investigation.

But when Roberts finally agreed to talk to the Press, he denied having anything to do with the burglary. He told the Press that "I hardly know" the ex-thief, and "I never paid him to take anything out of our apartment. I know later he was arrested and convicted of taking Tara's vehicle."

Strangely, Sganga's laptop, TV, ring and CDs — the things the unwitting burglar was locked away for stealing — would go missing from the HPD evidence room some time in 2008. An HPD official would later say that it appeared they were mistakenly auctioned off.

There was now almost nothing of Sganga's left. But in a purse, the family found an undated letter she had written to Roberts. From some of the references, it appears that the letter was written very close to the time of her death.

If she was as depressed, paranoid and pilled up as friends and family said she'd been acting, she apparently still had moments of lucidity, because the letter was clear and positive. It was full of nothing but love and support for Roberts, whose drug use was ruining his career.

"Too much time & too many things have been let go and you are really cutting it close to losing the last and only chance to come back. I know you do not feel soo well right now, but I will do everything in my power...to help your pain, make your misfortunes get fixed as siin as possible and painless!....You know that saying - 'when it rains - it pours'!? Well baby, It is hailing on you and the clock is ticking. No more talking - this time I, your family, your friends who love you - need to see the walk!....I know your a bad ass - so prove it. --To yourself and the ones you love. I hope this letter (with the intent to motivate) will motivate you....Please! You will pass Gods test with FLYING COLORS! I beg." [sic] The last sentence was followed by a heart and the letter "T."

And, typical of Sganga, after more than three pages of trying to pump Roberts up, of promising to stand by him if he was thrown in jail for one of his no-shows in court, she relegated her own happiness to a meek postscript.

"If you would respect me a little bit more, I would be happy — well, happier...I want my life back and I am sure you do too. Remember we cannot waste anymore time Shawn. We are missing out on so many opportunities..."

Sganga was at least half-right about that last part. Her opportunities would end at age 32. Roberts had his future, and his dead girlfriend's cell phone, in his hands.
_____________________

Shawn Roland Roberts graduated from the South Texas College of Law in May 1995 and was licensed six months later.

He gradually built a reputation in Brazoria County as a solid criminal defense attorney. And then his peers noticed that the young counselor was more than just good, that his type of talent in the courtroom was special. He had a bright future; there was no doubt his name was going to be known.

But not long after his marriage in 2000, he and his wife separated. His daughter remained with her mother. (The couple would divorce in 2003.) This seemed to send Roberts off the rails. The extended family split into bitter divisions over who should have the girl. Emotions ran high.

In November 2002, an angry Roberts called his father and left a message venting his feelings about another family member who had taken his soon-to-be ex-wife's side.

According to an affidavit from an Angleton detective who listened to the voice mail, Roberts said he was going to rip the woman's "fucking head off," blow her "fucking brains out" and, in case the point was lost, "fucking beat the fuck out" of her.

Roberts was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat, although family members persuaded the woman to drop the charges.

Fellow attorney and onetime close friend Steve Gonzalez told the Press that, around this time, he became increasingly worried about Roberts's well-being.

"I loved him as a friend," Gonzalez said. "He was a great guy...I was very hurt that he went down that path, because he was a very talented lawyer, and he was funny, and in my whole life that's the only friend I've ever had that's kinda gone by the wayside."

Gonzalez said that Roberts's drug use and self-destructive behavior had spiraled to the point where Gonzalez told his friend, "I think you need to either fix your problem or end your life. One or the other. And I remember he said to me at that point, 'You don't think I've thought of that many times?'"

Upset at how the strife was tearing her beloved boy apart, Sandra Roberts wrote in her journal, provided to the Press by a confidential source, about the abuse and deception waged upon her and her son by other family members. (The journal entries appear to have been written years before Roberts met Sganga.)

Sandra had been a beautiful, bright, free spirit. Perhaps a bit too free; in 1969, she divorced the father of her two sons and one daughter, a decision she soon regretted. But she was extremely successful in the mortgage industry, which allowed her to be a human ATM for Roberts for much of her life. And when both her son Shawn and his brother succumbed to drugs, a problem that never plagued her daughter, she was always there to clean things up. Or at least try.

What some family members once considered slight eccentricities in Sandra seemed to swell into outright mental illness. (Family members interviewed for this story asked that their names not be used.)

Her thoughts, at least those she wrote down, leaned toward the erratic, paranoid and depressive. Much in the same way Roberts would allegedly claim to be trailed by helicopters full of secret agents, Sandra was aware of the myriad ways the world conspired against her. She was certain her phones were tapped and her computer hacked into. And when Roberts started his relationship with Sganga, Sandra would accuse her of being a CIA informant.

In a section titled "Messages to Me," Sandra wrote phrases and statements in quotations, attributing the sayings to people in her life: family, lawyers, Brazoria County judges, a boyfriend, men she casually dated.

According to Sandra Roberts's journal, her son's ex-wife called her "a psychotic whore" and accused her of ruining "all your children's lives."

In a heartbreaking section that consisted of single-sentence apologies, she wrote, "I apologize that God doesn't love the little children." And, "I apologize for believing I — one disenfranchised, single, alone woman — could help other people." And, "I apologize for living."

As mother crumbled, so did son.

The once-promising Shawn Roberts began to falter at work. He sometimes missed hearings, winding up with contempt citations from Brazoria County judges. At one of his lowest points, Roberts caused a mistrial during the 2005 capital case of accused murderer Jamarcus Warren in Tyler.

Although Roberts was apparently representing a man on trial for his life, he decided not to show up to court for a scheduled hearing, instead checking himself into an Austin rehab center, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Smith County District Judge Jack Skeen Jr. had a "disheveled and unshaven" Roberts hauled from Austin to Tyler, where he appeared in court in shackles.

"Roberts, his hair askew, appeared in court early Friday wearing a crinkled suit, tennis shoes and a light beard...A court bailiff occasionally poked the man for leaning on the judge's bench for stability," according to the paper.

Roberts gave a variety of reasons for why he checked into rehab, according to the paper, including problems stemming from a gunshot wound, "use of prescription pills," "ballooning weight-gain" and stress associated with the Warren case. But "other stresses included reports that a female officer of the court was 'gunning for' his law license and other attorneys were ridiculing his performance."

Then, a short while after claiming he was completely sober and willing to defend his client "until hell freezes over," he asked to be withdrawn as counsel because his client still owed him money. The judge declared a mistrial, and Jamarcus Warren was subsequently appointed new counsel.

With the Warren case, Roberts had dealt his reputation in Brazoria County a fatal blow. He had become a sore subject among his extended family and had alienated most of his close friends. He had burned through most of his money and was close to being kicked out of his townhome. He still had good-time friends, though. People who liked to party. And so he wound up with that crowd on New Year's Eve 2005, when he met the only person besides his mother who would give him unconditional love. The only person who would believe he could still be saved. And within a year and a half, that person would be found dead in her bathtub with a battered face and blood pouring from the back of her head.
_____________________

In 2008, while Sganga's family members were still seeking answers for how she died, Roberts started a relationship with a 28-year-old woman whom his younger brother met in an Austin rehab center.

Amanda Linscomb and her parents knew about Sganga's death, which they understood to be a terrible tragedy. Whatever reservations Linscomb's parents may have had were brushed aside out of respect for the love their daughter showed for Roberts. (The Linscombs declined to comment for this story.)

They must have believed this was a solid, grounded relationship, because they bought the couple a gorgeous two-story home in Manvel. After all, their daughter's new boyfriend had no money and had been driving his career into the ditch. Although he had succeeded in getting two drug possession charges dismissed, he was still facing disbarment proceedings in Harris County over the charges.

And soon, Linscomb's parents realized they were housing Roberts's mother as well.

It's unclear why Sandra, a mentally ill woman who wrote, "I apologize for living" in her journal, went to live in a house where there was at least one loaded gun, instead of living on her own or with a daughter with no history of drug problems.

Around 2:30 on the morning of August 16, police dispatch in Brazoria County received a 911 call from 42 Atascadero Drive. A woman had shot herself.

A copper-jacketed bullet entered the right side of Sandra's head and proceeded up and to the left, exiting through her forehead. She arrived at Memorial Hermann Hospital at 3:05 a.m. and was pronounced dead 40 minutes later. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Manvel Police Captain Duke Adkisson, who investigated the death, did not return numerous messages left by the Press. According to the Alvin Sun-Advertiser, police reports indicated that "Sandra walked into the couple's bedroom and asked for Roberts' 9 mm pistol, which was in the nightstand, saying she needed it. [Roberts] later told police that his mother went out onto their back porch, took a few steps into the yard, and shot herself in the head. [Linscomb] reportedly had stayed in bed when [Roberts] followed his mother outside."

But the version Roberts gave the Press is slightly different: In a Facebook message, Roberts stated that he and Linscomb had just returned from playing cards at a friend's home and retired to the bedroom. They were "watching a movie on the laptop and dozing off" when Sandra came into the bedroom. Roberts "figured she couldn't sleep and had come in to get some cigarettes, which wasn't unusual." But then he noticed "she had Amanda's pistol in her hand," and then she walked "rapidly" out of the room.

"I got out of bed as quickly as possible, began chasing her down, all the while pleading for her to give me the gun, [because] I am proficient with a firearm and didn't want her in harm's way. By the time I caught up to her, she was opening the back door. By the time I got there, she closed the door, and as soon as I opened it, the gun went off and she fell straight back. Amanda arrived at almost the same time and we were both in shock traumatized. It was all horrible, but the worst part was that the trigger must have been jerked, so it wasn't instant. I will never forget the sound of her trying to breathe..."

He also wrote about "the humiliation of having to have our hands checked for gunshot residue [and] being questioned by the Manvel PD like suspects..."

When the Press asked Roberts to estimate the distance between the couple's bedroom and the back door, Roberts wrote, "it seemed like a long way [because] I didn't get the computer off my lap and get out of bed till she was out of the master bedroom...."

Adkisson would later tell the Alvin Sun-Advertiser that Roberts asked for the gun back.

Thirty-six days after Sandra allegedly shot herself in the head directly in front of her son, Roberts and Linscomb were married in Las Vegas.

By November 2008, Maria Sganga was so frustrated at what she believed was an inept investigation of her sister's death, and so shocked that another person had died in Roberts's presence, that she sent a letter to then-Houston City Councilwoman Pam Holm, begging for her help.

"We are continuously told HPD Homicide...believe Shawn is guilty of wrong-doing in this case, but pretty much need a confession at this point to pursue charges," Maria wrote. "We, as her family, are convinced and believe we can prove negligence by [HPD] as well as the Harris County District Attorney's Office. During a conversation with Officer Chavez, my mother...expressed resentment for [HPD's] shotty work in this case [sic]. Mr. Chavez did not deny these allegations, stating, 'Yeah, maybe we did screw this case up'...My mother and [I] are welcoming any assistance at this point to be sure our beloved sister and daughter did not die in vain."

Maria Sganga sent Harris County prosecutor Connie Spence a similar letter in January 2009. She said she never heard back from Holm or Spence.

Sganga's close friend Maha also got the impression that HPD wasn't taking the case seriously. When Maha was told of Sganga's death, she flashed on all the things she had attributed to crystal meth, and her sadness was compounded by a wave of guilt. That's the mind-set she was in, she told the Press, when she got a call from an HPD investigator who "was very rude, crass and he told me, 'Anyways, this is a drug murder situation. And usually when we do [a] drug murder situation like that, we just write it off as a drug case...If there's a murder involving drugs...it's obvious that it's because they were all on drugs..."

According to Maha, the officer believed that the presence of sex toys found on the bed — as opposed to a knife in the bathroom sink, shattered glass on the floor, a blood-smeared bathroom door and bloody clothing — was the real key to the case.

"He didn't care about it," Maha said. "He's like, 'Yeah, well, you should've seen all the sex toys and all that'....He told me, 'Did you see the size of the vibrator she had on her bed?'"

Maha wondered if this wasn't due, in some part, to the sway that Roberts seemed to have over some people; a conniving charm that, she said, never worked on her. After all, one of her first thoughts upon meeting Roberts was, "Oh my God, this guy's a master manipulator. He's a piece of shit."

The only person Sganga's family believed was in their corner was Jim Carroll, a researcher for private investigators, who had been handed a copy of Sganga's autopsy report in early 2009. The private investigator who gave him the report said the Sgangas couldn't afford his services, but he figured Carroll might find it interesting. And Carroll did. What jumped out at him was the conflicting statements over who pulled Sganga from the tub. To him, the HFD account was plain as day: Roberts didn't even bother to take his girlfriend out of the water and administer CPR. What kind of person does that?

That's when, Carroll said, he "decided to open up a can of worms that ended up getting the case reopened."

While Brazoria County reporters had been aware of Roberts for some time, Carroll reached out to Houston media, and Fox's Randy Wallace was the first journalist to put Roberts under a microscope.

Meanwhile, Roberts was cracking. Although he had managed to get the State Bar to drop the Harris County disbarment proceedings, he was not doing well in Brazoria County.

On March 7, 2009, four days after moving into Roberts's Manvel home, a recovering alcoholic named Steven Blake Blackshear died of a drug overdose.

Blackshear had met Roberts during one of the latter's failed rehab stints; he'd been kicked out of his home, and Roberts invited him to move in.

Although Adkisson told the Alvin Sun-Advertiser that "things looked suspicious," the death had been ruled accidental, and "he had no evidence of anything more sinister." However, Adkisson had been bothered by Linscomb's statement, in which she "contradicted herself and appeared to be on drugs."

Three weeks later, an Angleton police officer, responding to a call about a man passed out in a vehicle, found Roberts in a Walgreens parking lot, slumped over the wheel of a black Jeep Wrangler borrowed from a local dealership. The officer discovered that Roberts was in possession of Soma and OxyContin, although he had prescriptions for neither.

According to the officer's report, "Defendant was having trouble speaking; slurred speech. He was having trouble getting his words out. Defendant could not stand straight up; he swayed and could not walk normally."

Roberts was charged with public intoxication and possession of a dangerous drug.

Three days later, Brazoria County DA Jeri Yenne sent a letter to the State Bar of Texas.

"I am close to begging, pleading and imploring you...to address the situation with Shawn Roland Roberts for the safety of other human beings," she wrote. "He is not a competent lawyer at the present time and cannot perform his functions due to substance abuse. He should not be driving back and forth to any courthouse on the road due to substance abuse....There have been efforts to address this with rehabilitation. Now, however, it is [as] bad as it has ever been. I am asking you to prioritize this and expedite this situation for the safety of Shawn Roberts' clients, and society, or there will be a death which could have been prevented."

Six days later, Yenne ordered her prosecutors not to make any deals with any attorney they believed to be impaired, specifically naming Roberts. (Roberts was disbarred in May 2009 but successfully appealed the ruling and may resume practicing law — on an initial probationary basis — in January 2012.)

To Yenne, it didn't help matters at all that Roberts was trying to defend Linscomb, who was on her way to rehab, on an old DWI charge when he was found passed out at Walgreens. Yenne said she discussed this with Roberts's old friend Steve Gonzalez, who had taken over Linscomb's DWI case.

"Basically, I said she was going to be dead if she didn't get away from Shawn Roberts, you know that," Yenne told the Press. "It's going to happen, because the substance abuse that's around there is going to get out of control again, and somebody's going to die."

Unfortunately, Yenne would turn out to be right.
_____________________

In August 2009, more than two years after Sganga's death, the Harris County District Attorney's Office sought to indict Roberts for her murder.

It was a curious move, seeing as how the bloody clothes, and the rest of Sganga's property, were long gone. The lack of existing physical evidence may have been one of the reasons the grand jury declined an indictment. They did, however, hand up an indictment on a lesser felony charge of "delivery of a controlled substance." The prosecution would now attempt to prove that Roberts injected Sganga with a fatal dose of heroin. This would become the Trial That Never Happened; the trial that would reveal the identity of the state's only witness — the third person in Sganga's apartment at the time of her death.

But before that would take place, Roberts wanted to do more partying.

In April 2010, while Roberts was out on bond for the Harris County charge, he and Linscomb wound up in the Willis apartment of a mutual friend. (Because this woman's family asked that she not be identified by her real name, we're calling her Jenny.) Jenny had had a hard life, leaving home at age 14 and living on her own ever since, drinking heavily, running away from God knows what, but always supporting herself. She married young, became a widow young and wound up a single, alcoholic mother. Before long, her two children were in the care of Children's Protective Services.

In Linscomb, Jenny found a drinking buddy, but of course Linscomb and Roberts were a package deal. So he was with Jenny when, shortly after midnight on April 15, Linscomb fell unconscious. She was pronounced dead 13 hours later, the cause being "complications of combined drug toxicity." A toxicology report revealed traces of amphetamines, Xanax, codeine and morphine (heroin) in her system, among other substances.

"The manner of death is undetermined at this time, as the overdose cannot be determined as intentional, accidental or an assisted overdose," the medical examiner's report stated.

Among Linscomb's possessions, Willis police found Sganga's driver's license. Also found was a notebook — not belonging to Linscomb — with an unsigned, undated list titled "Top 10 Secrets." These included "I am addicted to gambling, sex, alcohol, drugs, entertainment, adrenaline, money and power" and "I have provided drugs to other addicts, helping them to stay in their habit."

Given Roberts's history, Willis Police were suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Linscomb's death. And so were the Texas Rangers.

With more authorities looking into his actions, and with the Harris County trial set for May 10, Roberts may have felt his luck was running out. By the end of April, he skipped bond and disappeared.

Acting on a tip on May 7, three days before the trial was to begin, authorities found him in the small town of Lytton Springs, north of Austin. He was brought back to Harris County, where, in order to make sure he didn't go anywhere before the trial could be reset, Jenny testified in a bond hearing that she witnessed Roberts using drugs, a violation of his bond. It was enough to hold him. Three months later, Jenny, who did not suffer from diabetes, overdosed on a medication used to treat the condition, and slipped into a coma. Worried for her safety, her family moved her out of Texas.

In late August, Roberts went to trial on the felony drug delivery charges. The state called its only witness, thus revealing the identity of the third person in Sganga's apartment at the time of her death. A career criminal, Floyd Mann Hayes had to be transferred to Houston from his prison cell in Huntsville. The jury was less than impressed. Roberts's attorney, Mark Bennett, was more than able to attack Hayes's credibility when he testified that Roberts injected Sganga with heroin.

The odd thing was that prosecutor Connie Spence was apparently unable to get the jury to ask themselves why Hayes was any less credible than Roberts. After all, it wasn't like the two men had never met before. Their relationship appears to date back to at least 2006, when Roberts represented Hayes's girlfriend in a drug possession case.

And, of course, by the time of the trial, Roberts's drug abuse was such that the Brazoria County District Attorney had warned the State Bar of Texas that Roberts was a threat to "the safety of other human beings." Of course, the big difference was that Hayes was the one behind bars. Therefore, he was not credible.

After a strange closing argument in which prosecutor Spence, according to spectators, wrote on a dry-erase board that lawyers have a tendency to lie, it didn't take the jury long to acquit. And, before long, the entire record of the case was expunged. Like Tara Sganga, Amanda Linscomb, Steven Blake Blackshear and Sandra Roberts — wiped from the face of the Earth.
_____________________

During his recent interview with the Press, Roberts explained that he at one point wished to die, but was too scared to follow through.

Describing why he violated bond and fled to the Lytton Springs area, he stated that he was with friends, and was "so distraught, I was suicidal, I prayed for death. I was too much of a coward to go through with it. It was there that I went to get my mind right. To recover mentally before my trial. I was arrested the Friday before. After having my bond revoked, I met with a psychiatrist in the Harris County Jail and made the comment that if I could trade places with Amanda, I would. The comment landed me on suicide watch for almost a month. It was a terrible time."

Regarding Sganga, he wrote, "I loved Tara. It was tragic, but I had no idea she had so many drugs in her system." This, too, is odd, seeing as how Roberts told police that she had taken Vicodin and Xanax the morning of her death; that she had prescriptions for multiple painkillers; that her friends were concerned about her increasing use of crystal meth; and that Roberts lived with her for more than a year.

However, one thing told to the Press appears to be reflected in Roberts's Facebook messages. When the Press first sought an interview with Roberts through his attorney, Mark Bennett, Bennett said Roberts wanted to put the trial behind him and move on. Roberts's last Facebook message to the Press, clearly meant for someone else and sent accidentally, seems to indicate he's doing just that:

"Hey, what's up, muy bonita muchacha? How's Cabo? How's your Spanish? Sorry about your Jets, but I think GB and Pitt will be a great one. I'm planning on going. So have u found me a chic yet? U think [woman's name] is too much of a bitch for me (I always thought she might make a good dominatrix) :) or won't date me bc I'm not a millionaire anymore?...BTW, I did an interview with the Houston Press today, so I'm sure another slam article is coming, but this time I fired back, so we will see. If u come to the SuperBowl, lmk, and I will get u in the best parties.

"Hasta, Shawn."

craig.malisow@houstonpress.com

Show Pages
 
My Voice Nation Help
103 comments
TXGIRLINLA
TXGIRLINLA

yes there IS EVIDENCE that Tara had a bruised and 'bloody' body - I've seen the ME Report and the photographs taken of the apartment. You are obviously friends with that scumbag Shawn.

SRR
SRR

NO there IS NOT and WAS NOT any such evidence. I can't help the fact that certain individuals cannot read or interpret a report, be it autopsy or other. The ME testified at the trial. No pics were introduced and there was testimony that Tara had NO blood coming from her head, there were no signs of struggle, nothing under her fingernails, and none, I repeat not a single shred of testimony or evidence that Tara had been struck, abused, nothing bc I never hit her no matter how many times she hit or scratched me(which she did several times) which was a first for me regarding relationships yet I never retaliated and to this day have never struck a woman with a fist or open hand. All I have ever done when attacked was to protect myself by leaving or restraining her from striking me. I challenge anyone I have ever dated or any of their friends that they may have confided in or had an opportunity to witness anything remotely re violence to come forward with any allegations of physical abuse or violence. Period. All this made up bullshit makes me sick. I have always said that men who abuse women are cowards and I have no friends that beat women. The implication that Tara was bruised or battered or bleeding is complete slander. They are lies, malicious outright devious misrepresentations, put forth for one reason. To attack my character and hurt me and my family. I have a daughter that is old enough to understand the implications, a profession that is damaged extremely by these false allegations, because the bigger the lie, the easier to believe. This whole article and subsequent pieces are veiled and implied lies constructed in such a way to make me look like an abuser, a violent person, and plants the seeds that I am a murderer, a scumbag, with amazing, almost supernatural powers to control the police, the DA's, that I collect guns and knives,( I do not own a single one) that somehow I had something to do with my mothers suicide, although my love and our bond was incredibly unique, that I somehow had a hand in my wife's death regardless of the fact that we never fought except for issues re her drug use ( I was the one who sent her to rehab). I was the only relationship she had where she was not physically abused and had no reason to wish her harm. I loved her as a life partner and NEVER laid a hand on her. No one can say otherwise. As for my supposed "roomate", after reading this slanderous bs, (he had only stayed at our house for 2 nights and was told he HAD to leave the next morning and go home to his daughters birthday or find another place to stay because he was adversely effecting Amanda with his drinking and had been kicked out of his own home for passing out naked in his yard and garage, respectively, in front of his 3 daughters. Obviously he needed help and was advised to check in rehab by his wife, friends, and by me. Yet Malislow implies that I had something to do with all their tragedies. He even suggests that "Jennie" was moved out of state for her safety, that somehow while incarcerated I posed a threat. Yet she consistently came to visit, wrote letters, and put $ on my commissary. She testified truthfully at the bond hearing that she had never seen me inject my wife or shoot up personally. She also testified that she never witnessed anyone injecting drugs at her home. Her testimony re my drug usage was that she "guessed" I was taking pills because "everyone was"..Why in the world would I want harm to come to any of the people Malislow implies and states that they all had one thing in common-me. Obviously law enforcement did thorough investigations considering how publicized it was that the Texas Rangers were involved, yet not a single person involved with the tragedies working for law enforcement has ever mentioned or found one thing vital to a supposed murderer-INTENT. Because you can't find what doesn't exist. And one thing is crystal clear. I loved all of them, wished ill will on none of them, and never acted in a violent manner towards anyone that Malislow and Tara's lying, drug supplying, thieving family mentioned. In conclusion, I want this trash removed from the internet, for Tara's mother, sister, friends, etc. to face up to reality. To admit trashing destroying my diplomas, law license, to stealing all my belongings out of storage and furniture from our apartment. That they threatened me and my mother. The fact her mother has used this situation to compensate for her guilt in not being around while we were dating, that for some sick reason she wants this media attention. But Sharon Russell aka Sharon Sganga, aka, Sharon Contino, aka cocktail waitress at certain clubs, IDK how many names she has used... sat though the entire trial, knows there was no testimony re physical abuse or altercation, is in denial re her beloved son Johnny Contino's contribution of cocaine to Tara behind my back, knows she almost died before of an overdose by abusing roofies or other benzos like xanax, battled depression, knows I had put almost $8,000 in Tara's account shortly before her passing, knows Tara and Maha broke in my storage, took a $5000 persian rug and a framed Ronnie Lott jersey, storing it at Jackson's (she felt guilty and confessed she had done it bc she was jealous and afraid i would leave her) that she was in my storage with my law desk, all my files, all my memorabilia, 2 persian rugs worth over $10,000, my leather couches, my coffee and end tables, my table and chairs, my computers, my flatscreen, my suits (over $60,000) worth, my other clothes, all my personal effects including my bible, all my photos, my framed Flag, framed Elway jersey, lifetime NACDL crystal, several other Waterford crystals given to me by my mother, all furniture from my law office, all my book keeping, client accounts, files, motions, 15 years worth of accumulated books and guides re the profession of law and many many crucial documents related to my practice. Further she knows that I was purposefully kept out of the loop re her funeral, that either she, Johnny, or Marie had,, or still have or destroyed or sold all the aforementioned belongings. I am tired of holding my tongue, trying to treat them with respect while lies and misrepresentations are constantly spewed from their mouths. I have tried to take the high road and look where its gotten me. Manufactured and bullshit charges being filed knowing there was no chance of a conviction but taking satisfaction in destroying my name, keeping me incarcerated with a no bond for almost six months while the case (over three years old then ) kept getting reset and reset. There is an old saying in the legal community. "You can beat the rap, but you cannot beat the ride". That is exactly what happened to me. Everything was front page news or on tv until I was found not guilty. Then there was no tv coverage, no chance to tell my side of the story, a newspaper article much smaller announcing the acquittal on page 2-3, and no requests for interviews afterwards. Then they find this pathetic journalist who buys into their delusions, or doesn't care and sees an opportunity for a sensationalized article, not giving a damn what the truth is, not using any diligence pursuing the truth, hardly uses any of the interview I granted and refused to listen to any other issues, consistently and with malice makes up a story replete with insidious insinuations, outright lies and misrepresentations, apologizes for several errors in the first paragraphs and prints a correction no one sees(while making even more errors during the supposed correction), I was born in 1969, not married, continues defamation in a recent blog trying to connect knives, blood, (which after reading results in people envisioning an apartment strewn with so much blood it was written to portay a war zone a crazed , bloodthirsty killer on a rampage), yet she died of drowning with hardly a blemish on her body, that the State lost evidence crucial to the case which never existed or had anything to do with the case or cases which the DA got forced into trying because of her running to the media, and after soundly being defeated in the manufactured and "novel and unusual" cases which were brought against me. Then she blames the DA, who actually did a good job prosecuting the case, despite the fact that had it not been for the circumstances would never have seen the inside of a courtroom and if it had should have been brought against the actual drug dealers in the case, her brother( former client) and the State's key witness also a former client, but no one ever asked me my version as it pertained to those two. Their records speak for themselves. Why they decided to focus all their energies on publicly and privately prosecuting me, using every possible opportunity to get her mug on TV, denouncing me when all she need have done is ask her son what happened in the days preceding and asking him if I in fact did run off some of his friends for being bad influences. But her most despicable acts, besides the threats, is the cleansing, looting of the storage not a day or 2 after her daughters death, the theft and destruction of my personal and private property which I will pursue charges now if I am able because I have, until this point in time, refused to engage and/or tell the truth because I know Tara wouldn't want her mom's assorted history and actions, or her brothers, or possibly her sisters actions to be revealed. However, I have reached my breaking point and can no longer sit idly by, exercising forgiveness and silence while I am lied about, have had to deal with a malicious reporter with no desire for the truth, only sensational allegations filling in the blanks with speculation, printing spoon fed morsels of dark lies and spinning them for the public, portraying me as a villain parlaying his malice into the 5th most popular, rather notorious, article of the year in our fair city. In conclusion, I want my personal property back, including my 2 laptops she is suing the city for, my platinum and diamond cross that Tara had along with my furniture, my money, my clothing, my Range Rover, my flat screens, my photos,my rugs, and everything my law office contained that her mother stole out of our storage. Further I want Mr. Malislow held accountable and this story withdrawn from the internet. While I can never recoup in money the damages caused by the author and his publication in printing a story so full of supposition, out right lies, malice, and personal, private, public, and professional harm, I will pursue it from this point forward. Should law enforcement care to hear the truth re what happened to Tara, and follow the information up with indictments and prosecution, I will testify truthfully against all of them, even though I know that's not what Tara would have wanted. However, if her family cannot act like she would have asked them to act had she had an opportunity to do so, like maybe she did after almost dying in the hospital from abuse of a certain drug her brother told me about years before I knew her, if her friend Maha can make statements on the record re me and her feelings while coming over all the time to partake with Tara, if no one interviewed can tell the truth that Tara was not withdrawn, but rather had people over almost daily and certainly all weekend every weekend, if her mom cannot be upfront re her one visit during "this time of terrible transformation", which of course was caused by me and only me, then I must set the record straight and do what she urged of me. Don't waste any time going forward while not forgetting I am a "badass", using my gifts to set the record straight once and for all.RIP Tara, you know the truth, and know the love given you by my mother, myself, my brother, my grandparents and the rest of my family. I wish you could have stayed around and experienced more of the love my family gave to you with out stretched arms, unconditional and without judgement of you or your family

SRR
SRR

No you didn't..bc they never existed. You think homicide would miss evidence like that when they combed the apt with a fine tooth comb & I was never allowed to leave? No. She drowned. She was not physically abused nor was there any evidence of abuse or fighting. All would be cleared up had these naysayers attended the trial and heard the testimony of the ME and investigating officers.

The Truth
The Truth

I agree with Amber. After reading the article then the comments and esp Roberts' inclusion of the actual interview it is clear the author slandered his name and took things out of context. It's his responsibility to confirm whether his sources are accurate and not to fill in the blanks with his own brand of fiction. Thats libel and slander which hurts him professionally personally and financially. This story makes him sound like a murderer and is a combo of a conspiracy theory nuts, lies, esp re actual evidence. I attended the trial and to think that Taras sister happens to walk in and find a bag full of evidence complete with blood and knives!! Really? But the police missed it? While Roberts mother was destroying evidence? Sick! She died of drowning and had coke in her system that kept her up 3 days and was supplied by her bother! She wasnt stabbed or beaten. She overdosed and drowned. Homicide had Roberts in the apt from beginning to end. He never left. He couldnt bc he was handcuffed and detectives combed every inch of that apartment before leaving. An implied conspiracy theory that Roberts influenced the detectives, had them destroy evidence they never had or left at the scene for the sister to find, had someone od while he was behind bars, Ridicilous!! Bless their ignorant hearts. Its a tragedy but the villian isnt Roberts, its the two drug dealers, her brother and the guy that testified against Roberts the same one with 16 felonies looking to please the state so he can make parole. He may have had addiction issues too but he wasnt the dealer and didnt force Tara to do any drugs. Did he snort the coke, pop the pills and somehow transfer all these substances to Tara? Obviously not, the jury found him not guilty. He is innocent yet the author distorts everything in an effort to try and make Roberts look guilty when he should have been a professional. Roberts gave him permission to get the transcripts. There was NO EVIDENCE that Tara had a bruised bloody broken body. That is such a lie. I hope he is fired and Roberts is awarded a lot of $ bc this article is a huge injustice. I should know, I was there. I was on the jury and no one thought Roberts was guilty, we were sad bc we felt like the state prosecuted the wrong guy (the atty) instead of the drug dealers..Malislow is a disgrace who clearly sensationalized an issue at an innocent mans expense all in an effort to try and make a name off someone far more gifted than himself.

Amber
Amber

Good thing he was found not guilty everyone knew they went after him bc he is a great lawyer and the families wanted a fall guy he should sue this publication

Pammie
Pammie

Amber you have no idea what the hell you are talking about.. unless you are the next victim..

Texasguy69
Texasguy69

Oh how blind you are, perhaps he has scrambled your brains too. You better watch out if you are hanging around him. Its hard to defend him when you become one of his victims. One day your eyes will be opened after he gets his next victim....

Leeza
Leeza

I am disgusted by the the BLIND JUSTICE/HPD/DA OFFICE and all those that are supposed to serve and protect us and this is a sample of the twisted and corrupted system we have yeah I will trust my life to HPD.....

Angel for Tara
Angel for Tara

Dear Mr. Criminal Defense Trial Attorney, (Shawn)

It disgusts me to even have to type your name. It makes me cringe. But I do have a few questions for you.

Do you have an answer for the fresh blood-stained clothing (Tara's camisole and your t-shirt) that was found hidden in Tara's bedroom and bloody bed sheets that your mother was washing later that day? Do you have an explaination for supposidly discovering her in the tub and not bothering to pull her out or administer CPR? Do you have an answer for fleeing the scene and taking all of Tara's valuables and credit cards with you? Do you have an answer for returning to her apartment with your drug buddy to rob everything else she owned? Do you have an answer for not contacting any of her family members to tell them she was deceased when you clearly had her cell phone in your posession with everyone's number? Do you have an answer for not attending her furneral service or sending flowers, a card....anything...when you claim to be such a smart man yet not savvy enough to look up her funeral date in the paper???

You degraded Tara to homicide detectives and people in the courtroom by claiming that the reason you were falling asleep while being interviewed by detectives was because you were tired from being up all night supposidly being "intimate" (I'll use a nicer term than you chose) with Tara. Everyone knew that you were impotent. Tara told me herself.

Do you remember telling a certain person (who shall remain nameless for her own protection against you) in a hotel room the night Tara passed when she asked about the scratch marks on your neck? Your response was -"That B*tch" will never speak to me that way again. I held her under the water until the bubbles came up". Do you remember that conversation, Shawn???

You know damn well what you did. You will burn in hell for what you have done to people's lives. Keep trying to tell yourself your innocent. If that's what keeps you goinig everyday, then so be it. But you are the lowest scum of the earth and will rot in hell one fine day.

Angel for Tara

p.s. Every word that comes out of your mouth is nothing but a lie and everyone knows it. So why would anyone believe you are telling the truth about anything in these posts, neverthess being responsible for Tara' death?

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

I'll refer you to the reply posted by me several says ago. I am not going to dignify those ridiculous comments with a response. The physical evidence didn't lie, and doesn't lie. Period. If there had been any of the evidence that untrained, highly emotional, people claim there was, the homicide detectives that locked down the scene and stayed for several hours would have documented, photographed, and tagged the evidence. Obviously, the truth has no effect on people that already have their minds made up, as to what, I don't even think they know. I have offered numerous times to sit down with any of her friends and family and discuss this tragedy in the hopes that there may be closure, but denial is a powerful thing, and all these responses are irrational, and clearly a sympton of denial and the fact that they can not come to grips with reality. Tara was a wonderful person, but she had faults like all of us .Everyone close to the situation knows that I did not introduce Tara to drugs. I never claimed "helicopters" were following us, that's sad. Really. I did not take her to the doctor and make her get prescriptions for drugs she had already been taking. Nor did I force those medications down her throat. She had been hospitalized before bc of addiction to rohyphinol or" roofies", long before she met me. Again I forgive those that have wrongly and falsely slandered my name, intentionally mischaracterized the nature of our relationship and how I treated her; (would she have written a letter like the one published in the article if I did all the ridiculous things that have been alleged or stayed with me for so long)'? , and continue to hold on to these irrational thoughts bc they are in denial. And I ask for your forgiveness as well, however misguided or unwarranted your blame and actions have been. I wish you all peace, love, forgiveness, and healing. I know, God knows and Tara knows what happened (and I have no fear of my judgement day with God) Further I know Tara would not approve of all these attacks. I have said all I am going to say unless someone would like to visit in person. My remarks made several days ago which include the entire interview cover it all. Sincerely, SRR

Leeza
Leeza

Shawn not only did you destroyed so many lives with your lies and deceptions but you took a life that was incredible and turned her into an addict someone with insecurities and you played and manipulated to your convenience, tara was an incredible person, I met her when we where very young and we turned out to be incredible friends for more than 20 years. The Tara I saw in that casket wasn't the Tara I knew, you took that away. see I knew her better than anyone and I knew the good and the bad I knew her fears and what made her happy, but you took all that away from her family and friends her real friends not the people she was hanging out with at the end. See Shawn G-D has this perverse and sinister plan for you and I will be there to spit in your grave. May you rot in hell........

Pam Pammie Brown
Pam Pammie Brown

as i sit here, i was thinking.. u said Tara was washing out her dye to her hair.. why was she taking a BATH?? why would she take a BATH (not a shower) and wash out her hair.. wouldn't that make the bath water brown.. why would u take a bath in dye water??? (u wouldn't u would take a shower) so what that lie to cover up??? & u cant drown in the shower!!! so what really happen???

Texasguy69
Texasguy69

BTW this is a good time to inject (and I use that term loosely here) a statement from Outlaw Josey Wales.."dont piss down my back and tell me its rainin".

Texasguy69
Texasguy69

SR, did you not see the the autopsy photos? I did, and the injuries she sustained on her face and back of her head were not from falling down 5 times. I also challenge anyone to go to the Harris County ME's office and get one for yourself. They are under 5 dollars. The photos can be bought as well. There wasn't enough "drugs" in her system to kill a dog. Some of the drugs found in her system were from the emergency room treatment. You can also obtain a copy of the Ambulance report from the HFD. "A86" (Ambulance 86) arrived and found a submerged female in the bathtub". Also it was noted that SR shirt was bone dry when HFD and HPD arrived. All this is available on public record and you can obtain it. As for transcripts of the trial, that was all expunged at Shawn's request (attorney) mainly because they didnt want anyone seeing it. However, some documentation was obtained and copied legally before the case was expunged. Legally SR is not suppose to have a gun because of his mental instability and that is an issue being worked on. There are several people lets just say that are in the "legal field" that are not going to let this case fade away and be forgotten. These people are doing this on their own time, not getting paid.

PAMMIE
PAMMIE

go blow smoke up some one else ass.. i dont believe u.. i knew Tara!! & her faults.. i know what happen, as well as u do.. so stop with the lies already.. i dont believe u or ever will.. I AM TARA FRIEND, NOT YOURS...

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

Pammie, If i could bring her back i would. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for everyone's loss. I have written several times re: forgiveness. I forgive you for the comments re my mother. Nothing was further from the truth. My mom was the least judgmental person you could have ever met. In fact her and Tara were close. Tara spent Christmas with my family. My mom and her exchanged several gifts. She actually erased almost a whole roll of film with her and my family members bc "she didn't like the way she looked in the pics." While tweaking. I was upset about that, but it didn't matter bc the police got that camera anyway. They spoke often, as much as my mom and I did in fact. The day she passed she had been talking to my mother for at least an hour. Phone records show that. The other thing i would like to say is that I did not like Tara on uppers. The only numbers I may have ever erased were those of her meth dealers. So if your sisters number got erased or yours (I guess accidentally bc I thought u were one and the same u will know why). For the record Tara didn't have meth in her system when she died. I had done everything possible to keep her off that stuff bc it was really bad for her. She did have cocaine. I wondered why she hadn't slept for several days and found out when I received the autopsy, one of the reasons I made the comment "I had no idea she had so many drugs in her system", the person who provided that substance knows who he is, but will have to deal with that. Hopefully he isn't a hypocrite. Also there will be a lawsuit filed for the lies in this article. Specifically as it pertains to Craig's erroneous report of the autopsy. There was never a "bruised and battered face, or gash in the back of her head with blood flowing out. Severe mistake on his part. I know you have done interviews Craig, but have you ever done a deposition? As for separating her from her friends? Ridiculous. There were people over all the time. Almost everyday of the week. Your "sister" was over quite a few times. Her brother was practically living with us. I am not now and have never been a controlling or jealous boyfriend or husband. BTW I like Johnny, Always did. I'm sorry that the "great miscommunication" ever happened. As I told Maria.I truly wish for you to let go of the hate, to practice the art of forgiveness, even if the hate or blame is misplaced, I really hope that you can begin to heal. Truly. Sincerely,Shawn

Texasguy69
Texasguy69

Really Shawn? Did you not forget what you wrote in your journal when you were in Rehab? About how you would get women high to get them to do what you want? Your scribble is hard to read but nonetheless, readable. Pretty interesting stuff you wrote....

Angel for Tara
Angel for Tara

More lies. Funny how you talk about denial. Cleary, you are the ONLY one in denial, Shawn. As for the cops and them not securing the scene, evidence, etc... Just like there are crooked lawyers....there are also crooked cops who cover for them.

Blackhelicopters
Blackhelicopters

Show's what most of us in Houston have always known. If you want to commit crime in Harris county, get a law degree and pass the bar. They'll look the other way and drop charges. Been that way since at least the 60's.

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

Hi folks,

Can we please keep these comments civil, and not just a shouting match between two or three individuals? That's not what this space is for.

Thanks,Craig Malisow

Srobertslaw
Srobertslaw

Where are the comments I made with the entire interview? THE COMMENTS ON DISQIS UNDER TXSHERIFF97????? Have those been deleted? I've wanted people to know the truth. So can you post it first. Put it back up if u took it off? And yes u do owe an apology, to me. Skipping bail? Give me a break. That's when u don't show up for court and your bondsmen drops the bond and its a felony failure to appear. That never happened. I have explained this over and over. There was a warrant issued bc someone "said" they saw me using drugs. Normally there would be a hearing before a bond was revoked on hearsay. there wasn't a hearing till after I was in custody, and when I offered to take a drug test, was denied the opportunity, then held with no bond before being found innocent.

marss
marss

hey I agree he needs to put it back up!!!!! Everyone needs to be given a chance i hope you stay clean I understand .....Shawn I been there done that !!!!! (Jenny) called me shes doing much better and I want you to know she did not want to testify against you I believe some certain rangers told her she would get her kids back ....however they lied and she went down quick in guilt and the loss of her kids she ia an alcoholic and addict and by the grace of God she survived she is one of my dearest friends. You met me years ago off hwy 6 and satsuma you know where.... well mabey we will see each other again I hope its on good terms and we are sober GOD BLESS

marss
marss

Thank you. I would like to meet up with you,mabey some time soon. We could do lunch,however I dont want all these people having my info, so I will go buy a track phone and leave a number tommorow. God Bless you too.

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

Yes Ive been very worried about her. She has a great heart. When or if we meet, God willing i will be sober, one day at a time...Take care and God bless

angel
angel

shawn- commenting on you- check back in 15 minutes

Dgyould
Dgyould

absolutely Craig I just wanted to get an important point to the people who needed to think about this situation and also this man has absolutely altered 3 families lives that he doesnt even know,thats how devestating drug addiction is and by the grace of God he will be forgiven but by no man he can be forgiven @ this time.

Pam Pammie Brown
Pam Pammie Brown

sorry Craig, just venting a little on some one i really dislike.. sorry about the language.. i will watch my month...

Dgyould
Dgyould

Shawn you and Randy are going to die the way you both deserve...slow and hard. Dont quit your day job,oh thats right youre a BIG FUCKING LOOSER!!!!!!! ONE MORE THING WATCH YOUR FUCKING BACK!!!!!!!!!

Srobertslaw
Srobertslaw

As for u, I pray you find Jesus and I hope u learn how to forgive. If u already have, then I would hope you wouldn't make threats or wish pain and suffering on anyone. Post your number and I'll be happy to make contact with you. But to tell someone to watch your back, and wish them death isn't very Christ like. I forgive you and ask for your forgiveness as well, however misplaced your blame may be. Really what exactly is it that u think I did to Tara. And Randy? What's he got to do with it? Nonetheless I'm here and not going anywhere. Take care and God bless. Shawn R.

Dgyould
Dgyould

meet us @ wilcrest babtist church march 6th sunday we can pray ....we can really get all this off our hearts God Bless...hope u respond. The morning service starts around 9:30

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

Are you still planning on being there? b/c if i can get a ride I will be happy to meet you there.

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

OK. i will try and make it. Is that the same church where they have the AA NA meetings?

MariaS
MariaS

Shawn- how dare you play the Christ card. When was the last time you attended Church? If I recall, per my sister, she tried to get you to go to Church many times. In fact, she pleaded with you to do the right thing...for your sake and hers. Instead, you lead her down the devil's path of deep, dark, destruction. You will face God one day if you're lucky and all of this nonsense you speak will mean nothing. My sister and 3 other people are desceased and you are using this article to promote your law practice?!?! You are truly sicker than I initially thought. The only person you need to pray for is yourself. Oh, and your attorney, since cleary he's just as twisted as you are. Do not speak my beautiful sister's name ever again. You don't deserve to ever have even know her. Maria.

Pammie
Pammie

GOD DOES HAVE A PLAN FOR HIM.. ITS CALLED HELL!!!!!

marsss
marsss

That is not going to work !!!! You need to stop that b-s !!!!! God has a plan for all of us.....so concentrate on being the good friend Tara would want u 2 b. Shawn is in Gods plan -i am in Gods plan so let go of the b-s LIVE WHILE U R HERE !!!!!!

Pam Pammie Brown
Pam Pammie Brown

I WANT TARA BACK.. CAN U BRING HER BACK.. U TOOK HER AWAY.. NOW BRING HER BACK... WELL I GUESS UR BELONG R GONE LIKE SHE IS.. AND HER STUFF TOO..

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

Maria, I'm sorry we never got to talk. I truly believe if there had not been the misunderstanding between my mom and you all, things would have turned out a lot differently. However, I would like to know who tore up my diplomas, where all my belongings are from my law office that your mom took out of storage, and who has my furniture, couch, coffee table, rugs, memorabilia, suits, computer, printer, etc. Bc I didnt have Taras tv, mine was gone too, or her laptop. But i want my belongings back, the table, the chairs, all of it. Who has it Maria? Do you, your mom, Johnny? Did you tear up my law license, my diplomas? Please, tell me. I swear on my moms grave I never got any of it. I talked to Jackson, Tara and Maha had taken my rug and signed Ronnie Lott jersey over there. So please tell me where it is and how I can get it all back. I had a lot of important files, my desk, my whole law office that your mom went and took the day after Tara died. She tried to get in my other storage as well but Tara's name wasn't on the account.

Dgyould
Dgyould

Yes you are here and thats a fact,however God is on your side so you have another chance.Dont hurt yourself or influence anymore young distraught women into becoming or staying into a life of drugs and pain so by the grace of God may he help you through this time and give you the strength to really change because as humans we tend to disbelieve in each other so God really has his work cut out for him in you. Randy,well lets just say he already is suffering so why dont you go visit him and have a prayer meeting being the reborn christian that you are.

marss
marss

even Lucifer waas once an angel!!!!!!!

Bcgreak
Bcgreak

It is not normal for me to leave postings but for this one story I cannot seem to refrain, 1) because it involves someone I knew (Shawn) and 2) because all the positings I read are so one sided with virtually no one holding any other party involved, even the slightest bit responsible for the outcome. It appears a jury agreed.

Shawn, please know that you do have supporters out there who belive in the person you once were and the person you can still become. I wish you well in your future endeavors and hope that someday soon you too will be living the good life, surrounded by family and good friends.

My condolences to you on the death of your Mother.

Regards,C Soria Greak

Srobertslaw
Srobertslaw

Thank you. I will do my best. Sincerely.

Texasguy69
Texasguy69

Patience Dg, he really needs to be worried trust me, ok?

Sheriff97
Sheriff97

Why don't you and i meet so we can have a man to man discussion? Specifically in regards to what i need to be worried about, and why you would think you have "my journal" interesting stuff. What kind of a person would read another persons journal? How would you come into contact with something that belongs to me? Who are you people? I've seen your posts on the Chronicle as well. In any event if I have in any way harmed you, or offended you, I apologize. I understand emotions can run high. But i forgive you as well, Sincerely,

Texasguy69
Texasguy69

SR, It was a page that was sent to me anon, allegedly in your writing from your journal, of course I'm not tacky enough to post it everywhere. You've "offended" me and many others not related to Tara or any of your other victims by your manipulation of the law. You said the evidence speaks for itself. Like the OJ trial, it wasn't a brilliant defense that won your case, it was a shoddy presentation from the DA. Be glad it wasn't Kelly Siegler who wasn't the ADA. You can pray and talk about God and all that, but HE and you know the truth, along with those that are dead. A true christian would admit to what they have done.

PAMMIE
PAMMIE

I LIKE U!!!! :)

Dgyould
Dgyould

I say the truth I and the truth is Shawn will fuck up again but this time it will be his time!!!!

Dgyould
Dgyould

Its karma Pammie its all in Gods plan !!!!!

Pammie
Pammie

*********WHERE HE SAID I DID

Pammie
Pammie

YEAH LETS HOPE SO!!! he is sooo missed up right now, becuz he has got me mixed up with some other girl, i never danced were he Treasures.. and i never would have gotten Tara meth... OKKKKKKKKKKKKKK SHAWN pull ur head out of your ass for two min.. & think about what u r saying b4 u say it... JUST SAYING MORON!!!

 
Houston Concert Tickets
Loading...