Woman, 54, sentenced to 10 years for killing husband, 86

FORT WORTH -- Robert Stevenson and Robin Mirth, who were 33 years apart in age, stayed together more than 25 years. But it was a troubled relationship.

On Monday, Mirth, 54, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the 2009 death of her 86-year-old husband.

Prosecutor Art Clayton said Stevenson's family was satisfied with the plea in light of details about the couple's life that would have come out during the trial.

"Both of them had lots of difficulties they had to overcome in their relationship," Clayton said. "The family wanted to dispose of the case rather than coming to trial knowing what they did about the relationship."

Mirth was also sentenced to two years in state jail for an evading-arrest charge from 2008. The sentences will be served concurrently, and Mirth will get credit for 11/2 years she has been in jail.

Two of Stevenson's relatives, who declined to identify themselves, attended the sentencing hearing Monday but made no victim impact statement.

After she was sentenced, Mirth, a small woman using a walker, turned and said quietly, "I'm sorry" to the two relatives, who were allowed to sit at a table where they could hear the proceeding before 372nd District Judge Scott Wisch.

Defense attorney Joetta Keene said Mirth would have pleaded self-defense had the case gone to trial.

"We're not here to bad-mouth the victim, but he was stronger than her and she had multiple injuries," Keene said. "It was just a volatile relationship that ended in his death.

"Robin loved her husband. She didn't want to kill him She wanted to take responsibility for her actions."

Police found Stevenson dead in his home, his body concealed by blankets between a bed and the wall. The officers had been called by one of Mirth's sons after she told her ex-husband that she had shot Stevenson, police said.

When officers forced their way into the home, they found Mirth hiding behind furniture and found a shotgun, a police spokesman said.

Mirth appeared to have multiple injuries, some of which she told officers had been inflicted by two adult pit bulls and four puppies.

Martha Deller, 817-390-7857