2006-10-27 / Community

Captured In Rockaway, Guilty Of 2003 Florida Murder

By Howard Schwach

A Florida man who fled to Rockaway to evade capture by police after a homicide, but who was arrested in Rockaway last December, was found guilty by a Broward County (Florida) jury this week.

In October of 2003, three men entered a farmer's market in Lauderhill Florida and demanded money from a 42-year-old father of three who was working there as a security guard that day. It was his second day on the job, and when he tried to stop the robbery, Broward County prosecutor Tony Loe says, he was pistol-whipped and then shot. The thieves got $12,000.

Loe said that Robert Fraser, 34, organized the robbery and roped two teenage boys into helping him.

Although one of those teens shot and killed the security guard, Fraser was charged with murder as well.

Roe said that Fraser fled to Far Rockaway after the shooting, hoping to hide out with his girlfriend.

His girlfriend, Patricia Bartley, reportedly testified that Fraser was with her before, during and after the crime, but the Florida jury apparently did not believe her testimony.

Working on information from Florida authorities, two detectives from the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, Detectives Hurley and Cashin, arrested Fraser at his girlfriend's apartment on December 11, 2003.

The two detectives flew to Florida to testify at the trial.

The case, which was featured on "America's Most Wanted," received a lot of attention in Florida and the jury took only four hours to convict Fraser of first-degree murder and armed robbery.

He will be sentenced on November 20 and is expected to serve life in prison.

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