Local News

Plea Deals in Dismemberment Case Upset Family

Posted February 19, 2007 12:21 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2007 6:09 p.m. EST

— A Johnston County couple charged with killing two people and burying the bodies under their home a decade ago pleaded guilty Monday under plea deals that upset a victim's family.

Bobby Pollard, 35, and Cecillia Louise Pollard, 35, both of 1294 Lizzie Mill Road in Selma, agreed to plea bargains in connection with the 1997 deaths of Ceasar Ruvalcava Ortiz and Robin Clark.

A year ago, investigators found plastic bags of decomposing body parts buried under the farmhouse and in a freezer beneath a shed at the Pollards' Selma home. A chainsaw and a power saw was also buried under the shed, authorities said.

The remains were later matched through DNA to Ortiz and his girlfriend, Clark, who authorities said spent time with the Pollards in 1997. Clark was a niece of Louise Pollard.

Under deals reached between the defendants and former Johnston County District Attorney Tom Lock, Bobby Pollard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison. Louise Pollard pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to five to seven years in jail.

Clark's family expressed frustration at the deals, saying they wanted the case to go to trial.

"They could walk in fewer years than they hid Robin's and Ceasar's bodies," said Glenda Michael, Clark's mother. "You kill two people, and then you get away with it. That's not right."

Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle said she plans to move forward with the plea deals.

"We believe the resolution will be in the best interest of all parties involved," Doyle said in a statement to WRAL.

Pollard told investigators that he killed Ortiz in self-defense, Assistant District Attorney Ann Kirby said in court.

"Bobby told deputies during his interview that, when Caesar turned around and reached for his waistband, Bobby shot him," Kirby said. "Twenty to 30 minutes later, Louise called (Pollard) and told him she shot Robin with the same gun that he shot Caesar with."

Authorities said Bobby Pollard has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since his two young daughters were killed in a mobile home fire near Holly Springs in 1993.

The defense arguments didn't appease Clark's family, who said the murders deserved a stiffer punishment.

"I think it should've been life (in prison) because that's what he took from her," family friend Angel Kennedy said.