Suspect sought in attempted armed robbery of Baton Rouge motel in July _lowres

Jonathan Robertson

A Baton Rouge man was sentenced to 75 years in prison Wednesday for the armed robbery of a store clerk and the attempted robbery of a hotel security guard — but he still stands accused of killing two people.

Now, in light of the "significant term of imprisonment" that state District Judge Beau Higginbotham imposed on Jonathan Robertson, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III says his office will meet with the homicide victims' families to discuss how to proceed with the murder charges.

Robertson, 29, was convicted of robbing a Cracker Barrel store on Jefferson Highway near Barringer Foreman Road shortly after 1:50 a.m. July 1, 2015. A surveillance video showed the robber, who took about $70, wearing a Falcons cap.

Robertson was also convicted of an attempted robbery in the parking lot of a Comfort Inn hotel on Valley Creek Drive off College Drive about two hours later, during which a guard disarmed him of his pistol, prosecutors said.

The victims testified that their assailant was wearing black clothes and a black glove, and was sporting a Falcons hat with a sticker on the bill. Robertson’s DNA was found on the hat, prosecutors said.

Investigators traced DNA on the pistol back to the June 19, 2015, fatal shootings of Brandi Gilbert, of Plano, Texas, and Corrine Rayford, of Grapevine Texas. The 23-year-old women were shot in the head and found in a parked car on Boone Avenue in Baton Rouge.

Robertson has yet to stand trial on those shootings. Higginbotham scheduled a Feb. 21 status conference.

A second-degree murder conviction would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Neither robbery victim attended Robertson's sentencing, but the security guard, Warren Lands, submitted a letter that prosecutor Stuart Theriot read in court.

Lands called Robertson an "evil man" and "menace to society" who does not value human life.

Higginbotham noted that Robertson had two prior convictions, for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and simple robbery.

"It is clear from your record that you believe other people's property is there for you to take," the judge told Robertson.

Robertson said he was sorry before Higginbotham sentenced him to 50 years for armed robbery and 25 years for attempted armed robbery, and ordered the terms to run consecutively.

Robertson's attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, said his convictions and sentence would be appealed.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.