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Arlington woman's manslaughter trial gets under way

The blue Chevrolet truck parked in front of a south Arlington home confirmed Darrell Roberson’s suspicions. His wife of 21 years was with another man.

He got out of his Ford SUV and walked up to the pickup truck where his wife, who was clad in panties and a robe, was embraced by Devin LaSalle.

The windows were rolled up on that cool December morning in 2006. It was unclear if his wife, Tracy Roberson and LaSalle even knew he had pulled up in front of them in the 6100 block of Ivy Glen Drive.

Darrell Roberson began firing at the truck as LaSalle, 32, tried frantically to drive off and Tracy Roberson, 37, ducked down on the floorboard, according to Jill Davis, Tracy Roberson’s defense attorney.

Davis painted this picture for the jury during the first day of opening statements in Roberson’s manslaughter trial in Judge Louis Sturn’s District Court on Tuesday morning.

LaSalle was struck in the head with a bullet before his vehicle came to rest in a neighbor’s yard. Then, Darrell Roberson, who defense attorneys describe as being controlling, yanked his wife out of the car. That’s when she yelled rape, Davis said.

“She didn’t want to become the second victim,” Davis said.

Prosecutors have claimed that LaSalle died because Tracy Roberson falsely screamed rape. Though Roberson did not pull the trigger, prosecutors will ask the jury to find her guilty because she was reckless by knowing her husband would shoot LaSalle but disregarded the fact.

If convicted of manslaughter, Roberson faces two to 20 years in prison. Making a false report to a police officer is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

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