Barstow Man Sentenced to Life For Murder of Father and Father’s Girlfriend

Barstow Man Sentenced to Life For Murder of Father and Father’s Girlfriend

HINKLEY – The man responsible for the murder of his father and his father’s girlfriend has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole following an April guilty verdict District Attorney officials said.

Frank Joseph Covin, 24,  was convicted of the two counts of murder following a jury trial. During the court hearings the crime was described as an unprovoked, cold-blooded murder of Prospare Landry, 56, and Laurel Roberts, 36.  

The murder occurred on Monday, June 1, 2015, in the 22200 block of W. Main Street in Hinkley when Covin was sitting on the couch watching television. He became disturbed by noises heard coming from the television officials said.

“After his father walked past him and into the bedroom, Covin grabbed a handgun and shot his father in the back of the head,” District Attorney’s officials said. “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 put the handgun and the victims’ cell phones in a backpack, gathered the expelled cartridges from the floor and threw them in the kitchen trash before returning to the sofa to watch television.

After the victims failed to answer calls or their from door, Robert’s family requested a well check. When deputies arrived at the home shortly after 6:00 p.m. they found the home locked and no answer to the door or phone. A neighbor told deputies that Roberts had sent them a text saying she was on vacation. Deputies left the home, but returned at 10:04 p.m. after family members reported seeing movement inside the home, but still no answer to the door. Deputies forced entry into the home and found Roberts’ body face down on the bedroom floor surrounded by a pool of blood. She had a single gunshot wound to her head.

Covin barricaded himself and refused to come out of the home leading to an hours-long standoff. “After a lengthy stand-off, the Sheriff’s SWAT team made entry into the house and arrested Covin without incident,” District Attorney’s Officials.  “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.”

Covin was taken into custody and held in lieu of $2 million bail for two counts of murder. Over two years later, at the Victorville Superior Court he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

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)

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.


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Image Sources:

  • Frank-Joseph-Covin: San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office