SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A Barstow man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole today for the double murder of his father, 56-year old Prospare Landry, and his father’s girlfriend, 36-year-old Laurel Roberts.
In April, 24-year-old Frank Joseph Covin was convicted of two counts of murder following a jury trial. This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Shannon Faherty of the Major Crimes Unit.
Prior to today’s sentencing, District Attorney Victim Advocate Alma Arenas, who was assigned to the case, read a victim impact statement written by Landry’s sister.
I have a great sense of loss and sadness remembering how my brother's love of Jesus had brought him great hope for the future and for his kids. Please understand that my desire for Joseph to find forgiveness and know the love of Jesus, does not diminish my love or the pain of loss for my big brother. But I think that my brother would echo this message if he were here right now.
– Ramona Taylor (excerpted)
The details of the crime date back to June 1, 2015. On the day of the crime, Covin was seated on the couch watching television, when he became upset by the noises he heard coming from the television.
After his father walked past him and into the bedroom, Covin grabbed a handgun and shot his father in the back of the head. Roberts left the kitchen, where she had been baking a cake, to investigate. As she entered the bedroom, Covin walked in behind her and shot her in the back of the head.
Covin then placed the handgun and each victim’s cell phone into a backpack. He gathered up the expelled cartridges from the floor, threw them in the kitchen trash can, and then went back to watching television.
At the request of a family member, Sheriff’s deputies conducted a welfare check at the Hinkley home. Upon entering the home, they found Roberts’ body on the bedroom floor, face down in a pool of blood, with a single gunshot wound to the head. Covin had barricaded himself and refused to come out of the house. After a lengthy stand-off, the Sheriff’s SWAT team made entry into the house and arrested Covin without incident. During a warranted search of the house, Landry was found in the same bedroom lying face-up, with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.
Prior to today’s sentencing Victim Advocate Arenas also read a victim impact statement prepared by Laurel Roberts’ nephew Ben Abel:
We hope (Joseph) sits in prison and relives that day over and over again. Joseph could have chosen a different path without killing two amazing people like Laurel and Frank. His selfishness has caused two families traumatic heartbreak. What he has done has not only proved he is selfish but also a coward. We hope he sits there for the rest of his miserable life and asks himself was this worth it.
- Ben Abel (excerpted; some family members also referred to Prospare Landry as Frank)