Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco beating victim, state diverge on whom to blame more

NEW PORT RICHEY — He kidnapped the mother of his newborn son and tried to kill her weeks after she gave birth — and his new girlfriend helped.

In the eyes of the state, Robert Anthony Roakes was the more culpable of the two defendants.

But not in the eyes of the victim.

That's why Misty Chapman asked a judge last year to spare Roakes the maximum sentence of 30 years.

"I feel that what happened that night was instigated," Chapman told the court.

Instigated, the victim believed, by Roakes' girlfriend-turned-co-defendant, Nadine Scherer.

It was Scherer's turn to be sentenced Friday. This time, in a letter to the judge, the victim made it clear that this defendant should be shown no leniency.

The state, however, saw things differently.

• • •

Soon after trading Florida for Virginia, Roakes and Chapman broke up. Then he met up with Scherer.

The two are accused of luring Chapman out late the night of Feb. 26, 2007, ambushing her, beating her, then taking her prisoner in their van.

The victim escaped the moving vehicle on State Road 52. A passing sheriff's deputy rescued her. The couple drove off but were soon captured.

Here is where their paths diverged.

In September a jury found Roakes, now 27, guilty of attempted murder.

Scherer, 26, testified against him. The state reduced her attempted murder charge to felony battery.

"There were no promises made to her before she testified," said Assistant State Attorney Michael Kenny. "She said she wanted to testify."

Scherer pleaded no contest in February, leaving her fate up to a judge. That day arrived Friday.

• • •

Chapman spent nine days in intensive care after the attack.

She did not come to Friday's sentencing. She could not be reached for comment. But she did write a letter to the judge.

She cannot go out at night, she wrote. She is afflicted by nightmares and a paralyzing pain.

"It is safe to say that I will suffer physically from this incident for the rest of my life," she wrote.

And then she took it out on Scherer: "She is insane," Chapman wrote. "She knew exactly what she was doing and she meant to do it."

But that's not what Chapman said about Roakes when he was sentenced in November.

"(With) Robert alone, it wouldn't have gotten that way at all," the victim wrote to the court then. "Nadine initiated it. She was very aggressive."

• • •

Last year, Roakes got 22 years in prison.

On Friday, Scherer got 5 years.

But she has to serve only 2 1/2 years. Circuit Judge Jack Day suspended the other half. If she violates her 2 1/2 years of probation, she could face the full prison term.

Here's why each defendant got what they got:

The state believed Roakes took a lead role in the crime and that he inflicted the most harm. He had a criminal record. And he was convicted by a jury.

Scherer had one prior arrest. She testified. She cooperated. No deal was ever made, but the state believed Scherer mitigated her role. That's why the charge in her case was reduced — despite what the victim believed her role to be.

"He definitely looked like he had a more culpable role based on his prior record and his actions that night," said Kenny, the prosecutor. "But at the same time it's not like Scherer didn't commit a bad crime."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco beating victim, state diverge on whom to blame more 03/28/08 [Last modified: Sunday, March 30, 2008 9:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 5 things to do under $5: Where to see solar eclipse, Bucs training camp

    Events

    1 Solar eclipse: Turn around, bright eyes. Monday brings a total eclipse of the sun, and you'll need protective eyewear to see it. The bay area won't be plunged into darkness for a few minutes like the middle of the country, but with solar lenses you can see this rare event. The Museum of Science and Industry, …

    This photo shows a “diamond ring” shape during the 2016 total solar eclipse in Indonesia. For the 2017 eclipse over the United States, the National Science Foundation-funded movie project nicknamed Citizen CATE will have more than 200 volunteers trained and given special small telescopes and tripods to observe the sun at 68 locations in the exact same way.
  2. Florida man has some of Princess Di's wedding cake, plus 13,000 other royal items (w/photos)

    Human Interest

    John Hoatson recalls the day it all began with perfect clarity.

    John Hoatson poses with a photo taken in 2006 when he met Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, the Duchess of York, for tea at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in California.
  3. Pasco doubles tourist tax to finance sports complex

    Tourism

    DADE CITY — Pasco County is doubling its tourist tax to 4 percent to build an indoor sports complex in Wesley Chapel and improve its outdoor boat ramps in west Pasco.

    Pasco County's plan to double its tourist tax on overnight accommodations to 4 percent is intended to help finance a $25 million sports complex in the Wiregrass Ranch area of Wesley Chapel. It  would include a 98,000-quare-foot multipurpose gymnaisium of eight basketball courts and dedicated space for gymnastics, cheerleading and a fitness center. Shown here is the four-court fieldhouse with 50,000-square-feet of space for competitions at  Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.  Times photo by James Borchuck (2007)
  4. Les Miller on Charlottesville: 'This is not what we should about'

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- In the aftermath of the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., and ahead of today's continued conversation on Tampa's Confederate monument, Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller on Wednesday looked to inspire unity in an invocation that a colleague called "inspirational."

    Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller prayed for unity during Wednesday's Hillsborough County Commission meeting, following the violent protests in Charlottesville that left 19 injured and one dead.
  5. Here's what Florida's gubernatorial contenders say about removing Confederate monuments from public lands

    Blogs

    Gwen Graham: "Our state's role in the Civil War and the deplorable promotion of slavery still cause deep pain today. We all have a responsibility to combat racism and hate wherever it …

    Protesters climb the Confederate Memorial in Tampa on Sunday night after more than 200 people marched down the streets of downtown Tampa to protest white supremacy. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Hillsborough Flaggers plan are standing guard now to protect the statute.