SEAN D. ROBERSON, d/o/b 7-27-1988, of Springfield, was sentenced to fifteen (15) years in prison for killing eighteen-year-old Andros Vargas, in Branson, on March 29, 2013. Greene County Circuit Court Judge Michael Cordonnier sentenced Roberson on Friday, December 11, 2015, to fifteen (15) years for voluntary manslaughter, fifteen (15) years for assault in the first degree, fifteen (15) years for burglary in the first degree, and three (3) years for armed criminal action. Judge Cordonnier ordered those sentences to run concurrently with each other.
On October 2, 2015, a Greene County jury found Roberson guilty of those felonies, flowing over ten (10) hours of deliberation. The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office was seeking a conviction against Roberson for the crime of murder in the first degree, rather than voluntary manslaughter – the jury found Roberson guilty as charged of the remaining three (3) felonies.
The evidence presented by the State at trial was that Roberson had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend on March 15, 2013, and then was discovered hiding in that man’s apartment with a knife on March 29, 2013. The jury heard that Roberson chased the man from the apartment, threw the knife at the man, then led police on a pursuit that lasted about four (4) hours – until Roberson was finally arrested in Lake Taneycomo. It was only after Roberson’s intended victim re-entered his apartment that he found his brother’s corpse, fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A pathologist testified that the manner of death was homicide, and the deceased had most-likely been manually strangled – although drowning could not be ruled-out as a possible cause of death. Investigators later searched Roberson’s cell phone and discovered texts he had sent to a family member indicating that he had “tried to kill” the intended victim and “did his brother”, and another text that explained he “wanted revenge.”
Although the crimes were committed in Branson, the case was tried in Greene County due to a change of venue motion filed by the defendant. Voluntary manslaughter, assault in the first degree, and burglary in the first degree – as used in this case – are all class B felonies. The maximum sentence for a class B felony is fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Armed criminal action is an unclassified felony with no maximum term of imprisonment.