Staff Writer


Lake County News

LAKEPORT, CALIF. — A trial is set to begin soon for a former Augusta man accused of murdering a Maine couple in early 2010 and leaving their bodies beside a California road.

Robby Alan Beasley, 32, will stand trial nearly three years after he allegedly killed former Augusta residents Frank and Yvette Maddox. It was reportedly in retaliation for stealing marijuana grown by Beasley and former Gardiner resident Elijah Bae McKay.

Both Beasley and McKay, 30, have been charged under California law with two counts of murder and special allegations of committing multiple murders in the first or second degree, committing the offenses with the intent to inflict great bodily injury on the victims and using a 9 mm firearm.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Art Grothe said jury selection tentatively is scheduled to begin Oct. 17 and is estimated to take about two weeks. Grothe said he anticipates the trial will start in the first week of November.

Beasley’s family members, who live in Maine, plan to keep track of the proceedings through news media coverage. Beasley’s grandmother, Charlotte Beasley, of Richmond, said her family can’t afford to go to California to watch the trial.

“They’re just sitting back and waiting,” Charlotte Beasley said. “There’s nothing financially we can do.”

Robby Beasley moved to Clearlake, Calif., at McKay’s invitation, allegedly to help with McKay’s marijuana growing operation. Police have said the men, who developed a friendship while attending Gardiner schools, were involved in growing and trafficking in marijuana. Family and friends said the grow was authorized under California’s medical marijuana laws.

McKay is facing the same charges as Beasley in the case, but the two won’t stand trial together, Grothe said. No trial date has been set for McKay, who is due to testify in Beasley’s trial.

McKay testified during a preliminary hearing in early 2011 that he had given Beasley a gun to protect himself because the Clearlake apartment where Beasley was growing marijuana had been burglarized.

Several pounds of marijuana were stolen during that burglary. The prosecution claims Beasley believed the Maddoxes, who reportedly worked on the marijuana farm, were involved in the theft.

McKay also testified that the Maddoxes were shot Jan. 22, 2010, at a turnout on the side of Morgan Valley Road outside Lower Lake, Calif. McKay said Beasley tricked the couple into driving down the road under the pretense that they were taking him to the airport.

Beasley allegedly shot each of them multiple times and dragged their bodies down an embankment. The bodies were discovered by passers-by a few days later, according to law enforcement.

If convicted of all charges, Beasley would face life in prison without the possibility of parole, Grothe said.

Charlotte Beasley continues to receive letters regularly from her grandson.

“He sounds upbeat,” she said. “He still swears he didn’t do it. Innocent people shouldn’t go to jail.”

Charlotte Beasley said her grandson is happy with his attorney, Stephen Carter, and the private investigator hired to dig up more information.

“If I go by what (Beasley) says, I believe he will be acquitted,” Charlotte Beasley said. “He says there are lots of crooked cops out there.”

Grothe and Carter are handling the final legal steps necessary for the trial to take place.

“We are in the pretrial stages where we’re resolving as many evidentiary issues as we can ahead of time,” Carter said.

Grothe said the trial has been delayed as both lawyers worked other cases.

“It’s not that long, considering it’s a double homicide,” Grothe said.

The delay has felt considerably longer to Charlotte Beasley, and the fact that the trial is about to get under way offers her little relief.

As much as she hopes her grandson will be set free, Charlotte Beasley knows she may never see him again if he is convicted.

Charlotte Beasley offers the Dennis Dechaine case as proof that justice does not always prevail. Dechaine was sentenced to life in prison for the 1988 killing of Sarah Cherry in Bowdoin. Dechaine has maintained his innocence and has attracted the support of a vocal group of Mainers and high-profile attorneys.

“Dechaine’s still in jail, and I never thought he did it,” Charlotte Beasley said. “With Robby, as far as I know, they don’t have any evidence. Everybody’s telling different stories.”

Charlotte Beasley hates the thought of her grandson going through the trial without the support of his family.

That support is unwavering.

“He’s my first grandchild,” she said. “He writes to me all the time and draws me pictures and says he loves me. He’s not the horrible person they are trying to make him out to be.”

Elizabeth Larson is editor of the Lake County News. She can be reached at [email protected]

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]


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