Local News

Killers' Sentences Leave Victims' Families Shocked

Posted February 20, 2007
Updated February 21, 2007

— The families of two people killed, dismembered and buried beneath a farmhouse near Selma are upset about the sentences the killers have received, but prosecutors say it’s the best they could do with the evidence they had.

On Monday, Robert B. Pollard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and his wife, Cecilia Louise Pollard, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 1997 slayings of Caesar Ortiz and Robin Clark.

Robert Pollard will serve eight to 10 years while his wife will serve five to seven years. Ortiz’s and Clark’s families were shocked about the sentence.

“I mean, how are you gonna shoot somebody in the back of the head, cut them up in pieces and get five years?” said Brenda Rodriguez-Herrera, Robin Clark’s sister.

The assistant district attorney said Robert Pollard, generally known as Bobby, had a viable claim of self-defense when he killed Caesar Ortiz. Louise Pollard claimed all along that Robin Clark committed suicide. The result was a plea bargain.

“We didn't have enough” physical evidence, Assistant District Attorney Ann Kirby said. “What was done to the bodies, as gruesome as it may be after the deaths, does not come into play.”

While the victims’ families are distressed, the district attorney’s office said a trial jury could have given the Pollards even less time out of sympathy for their emotional trauma. The Pollards lost two young children in a house fire in 1993.

When they died, Caesar Ortiz was 23 and Robin Clark 16. Clark was Louise Pollard’s niece.

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • InTheWind Feb 21, 2007

    I don't need a law degree to listen to what the judge tells the jury before deliberation. Where did you get yours smarty pants? You did not answer my question. Have you had a loved one violently killed and sat through the court proceedings stretched out over months? If you haven't suffered that then you have no right to tell me what I know and don't know.

  • giepa Feb 21, 2007

    ok so now you know why justice has A blindfold on!!!!!!!

  • sunshine Feb 21, 2007

    This couple were friends of mine before the birth of their children. I sympathize with what they went through in the loss of those beautiful girls. But, that in no way justifies what they did. Self defense--no way--when it says both victims were shot in the back of the head. If I recall correctly, the wife confessed to a family member and the authories were brought in. Makes me wonder if there had not been argument leading to her leaving if this would have ever been discovered. My sympathies now go to the families of the victims. The plea bargaining and sentencing in this case a a joke and an insult to society.

  • wveagleson Feb 21, 2007

    A man was released from prison recently after having served 30+ years (??) for stealing a TV. Go Figure.

    Last month a minister from Sanford received 5-6 years in prison for killing his wife in cold blood and then stuffing her body in the trunk of her car and leaving it on an abandoned road. He then went and preached at his church and told the congregation that his wife was home with a headache.

    Now this. Our justice system is really an injustice system where victims receive less consideration than the criminals and we wonder why crime continues to increase.

  • yogi Feb 21, 2007

    I hope notgoingtouse... is not intimating a law degree is necessary to express an opinion on this subject or others.

  • alwayslovingu30 Feb 21, 2007

    yep you use to be able to sign A bond also to get yourself out of A jam but now that option is gone now you will pay no matter what our system is all about money an thats all they care about they dont care about us law bibing citizens they want us screwed an the people who commit alot more serious crimes go free.its all about the money ...my favorite saying is are their eyes open that means if so they are lying this is especially for our jucicial system

  • has had enough Feb 21, 2007

    paratroop - I you feel you have the right to "express yourself" by blowing smoke in someones face, I'm sure you will respect their right to "express" themselves in return?? By the way, your rant has nothing to do with the issue...

  • crow Feb 21, 2007

    ok I know the family I knew Robin and I was there through all this with the family. I'm thankful that Wral covered this but there is a fact every one is leaving out that I belive you should all know. Both Robin and Cesar were shot in the back of their heads.
    DA says viable claim of self defence. Sorry but I don't belive in magic bullets that fly around behind its victims.

  • notgoingtousemyrealemail123 Feb 21, 2007

    where did you get your law degree?

  • InTheWind Feb 21, 2007

    Also, the law does not say all doubt has to be removed. It says beyond reasonalbe doubt. There is a difference. RDUETC - NC has the worst sentencing laws in the country. We coddle criminals like they are something special while other states truly punish. I know that people will come at me for this but the justice system is supposed to punish, not soothed criminals. Our legislature needs to be turned over just like our DAs do. Also, the DAs should have to answer to someone immediately instead of at election time. I know the bar can remove them in certain situations, but do you really think they will remove one of their buddies?