Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jury Says Fatal Beating Was First-Degree Murder; the Defendant, 32, Is to Be Sentenced in June to Life in Prison

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jury Says Fatal Beating Was First-Degree Murder; the Defendant, 32, Is to Be Sentenced in June to Life in Prison

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Broward

As a Jacksonville jury found out this week, The Stars Rest Inn off Lane Avenue near Interstate 10 was no stranger to drugs, sex or violence in April 2011.

That's where a group of addicts, including a prostitute and a seven-time felon, polished a robbery plan that led to the murder of a 47-year-old man.

Jurors took less than two hours Friday to convict 32-year-old Craig Eugene Roback of first-degree murder and armed robbery. He will be sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison in June.

Prosecutors said Roback was living at The Stars Rest Inn with his wife, Jennifer Henn, 32, when a prostitute they had staying with them told them about one of her clients who she had seen with a large stack of cash.

The client was Vasudevbhai "Victor" Barot, who lived and worked at the Quality Inn and Suites off Baymeadows Road near Interstate 95.

The prostitute, Mindy Ann Lethco, 32, said she was to meet Barot the night of April 17 at his room.

Henn testified that Roback and co-defendant Douglas Elwood Haynes, 28, were supposed to knock Lethco down on their way into the room and tie her up with Barot to make it appear that they both were the victims of the robbery. …

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