2 men face capital murder charges in '94 deaths of woman and her grandson

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by By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyaeiserer

wfaa.com

Posted on August 29, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 5:53 PM

Two men are facing capital murder charges in the March 1994 deaths of a 53-year-old grandmother, who was found beaten to death in rural Ellis County, and her toddler grandson, who suffocated inside her abandoned car.

FILE 1994/Staff photo
Friends and family members comforted each other at the graveside services for Robbie Jean Biggar and her grandson, Kasey Roberts.

Police recently arrested Larry Samples, the slain woman's boyfriend, who had long been a suspect and had gone to prison because he forged her name on documents and stole money from her.

The other man, Galen M. Boyd, was a friend who is accused of helping Samples carry out the slayings. He also faces charges of capital murder, authorities said.

Money was the motive for the slayings of Robbie Jean Biggar and her 23-month-old grandson, Kasey Roberts, said Ellis County Sheriff's Department Lt. Jason Westmoreland, commander of the criminal investigations division, who ordered that the case be reopened earlier this year. He declined to discuss the specifics.

Ex-girlfriends talk

The biggest break for authorities was that two former girlfriends of Boyd's gave investigators statements that he had confided in them about the slayings, he said.

"Boyd confided in numerous persons that he was responsible for this," Westmoreland said.

For friends and family members, word of the arrests brought relief.

"Our prayers have been answered," Jennie Biggar, who is married to Robbie Biggar's ex-husband, said through tears. "We always thought Samples had something to do with it. We want to know why they did that to Robbie. Why did they leave that baby in the car?"

Before her death, the Lancaster resident had been dating Samples and was considering letting him move in. Samples had previously served time in federal prison for theft, transporting an aircraft across state lines and escaping from prison, among other things.

Ann Gipson, Robbie Biggar's best friend, said her friend knew Samples had a criminal record but didn't take it seriously. "She just kind of blew it off, saying, 'Oh, he was set up and framed,' " Gipson said.

On the day of her disappearance, Biggar was supposed to meet Samples at Lake Whitney. Samples later notified her family that she hadn't shown up.

Family and friends formed search parties, which led to the discovery of Biggar's white Ford Thunderbird in a Red Oak apartment parking lot. Her grandson was dead, still strapped in his car seat. He died from heat and lack of air.

A few days later, on March 22, 1994, Biggar was discovered bludgeoned to death and dumped in a grassy field near the Superconducting Super Collider site in Ellis County. She had to be identified through dental records because the beating was so severe.

Always a suspect

From the start, Samples was a suspect in the slayings. Police searched his home and gave him a polygraph test within days of the bodies being discovered.

Months after Biggar's death, Samples was charged with forging a document that gave him ownership of her home. Police previously have said that about two weeks before her death, he signed her name on papers stating she'd sold him her home for $10,000, about one-fifth of its estimated value.

About a year after their deaths, Samples was sentenced to 20 years in prison for defrauding her bank and insurance company of more than $11,000.

According to testimony, he had forged her signature on an insurance company check reimbursing her for $4,700 in home repair costs. He also was found to have stolen a portion of a home improvement loan by forging her signature on a $6,500 check.

Boyd, of Katy, and Samples, of Arlington, are being held with bail set at $1 million and $2 million, respectively.

At the time of his recent arrest, Samples had been out on parole for the forgery conviction.

"This has been so long in coming. I thought people had forgotten about it," said Gipson, who helped lead efforts to keep the case in the media spotlight for years. "You can't bring them back, but you want justice served."

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