Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police widow watches as justice plods ahead

Cynthia Roberts holds her son, Adam, as she touches her husband’s name on the Tampa police memorial for officers killed in the line of duty. Cpl. Mike Roberts died Aug. 19, 2009.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times (2009)

Cynthia Roberts holds her son, Adam, as she touches her husband’s name on the Tampa police memorial for officers killed in the line of duty. Cpl. Mike Roberts died Aug. 19, 2009.

TAMPA — The hearing lasted just 15 minutes. It was incremental, mundane.

The widow sat attentively in the front row, as usual. Yards away, a shackled man in an orange jumpsuit hung his head.

The sight of him upsets her. Humberto Delgado. Here, alive.

Her husband, Tampa police Cpl. Mike Roberts, gone.

More than a year after authorities say Delgado gunned down Roberts on a Sulphur Springs street corner, Cynthia Roberts lingered in a courthouse hallway Friday. First she spoke with a prosecutor, Jay Pruner, then she spent nearly an hour with her late husband's police colleagues.

She hugged each of them, tightly and with both arms. She asked about their own families. They told stories and laughed.

Someone complimented Roberts on a heart pendant around her neck. A gift from Mike, Roberts explained. He brought it to the hospital when Adam was born. Three hearts represented each member of the new family.

Before she left, she spoke with a Times reporter.

"It absolutely, already, for me, feels like an eternity," Roberts said.

Adam, who will turn 5 next month, was 3 when his father died. The little boy still asks her about him, Roberts said. She answers as best she can.

Adam always remembers in the pool. Before he died, Mike Roberts was teaching his son how to cannonball.

"Remember when Daddy used to throw me up in the air?" Adam asks her.

Healing hasn't been easy, but time does seem to help.

"Instead of thinking about it every thought," the widow says, "I think about it every other thought."

Support from the police community helps, too.

After the Friday hearing, an officer handed Roberts her car keys. He got permission to park her car in Sheriff David Gee's prime reserved spot.

"We take care of her," the officer told one of Roberts' friends.

The other day Roberts' yard needed resodding. As soon as they had some off-duty time, a few officers saw to it, Roberts said.

They're with her at every public event, at even the shortest of court hearings.

Roberts wouldn't dare miss anything. From the beginning, she vowed to see this through.

"I want to hear what happens firsthand," Roberts said.

Delgado's trial had been set to start this month, but Judge Emmett Lamar Battles delayed it in July to give defense attorney Christopher Watson more time to prepare.

Roberts is preparing, too.

She knows she'll have to step out of the room when attorneys bring out some of the evidence. She doesn't want to look at the photos.

At Friday's hearing, the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney agreed to discuss the case again on Dec. 10.

Again, Roberts will be there.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at kwilmath@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2442.

Tampa police widow watches as justice plods ahead 10/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 9:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017

    Blogs

    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  5. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.