Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: A kid I met in 1985 or '86 was charged with double homicide. He was only 15 or 16. Did the killer ever get convicted?
Submitted by: Joe, Sacramento
ANSWER: Randall Ray Houseman and Gary Dale Hines were convicted of the September 1986 gunshot slayings of Kathryn and Donna Roberts and the theft of the Roberts family's pink roadster.
Hines, now 48, was sentenced to death and remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison. Because he was 16 at the time of the killings and because evidence showed that Hines was the triggerman, Houseman was spared the death penalty and sentenced to 52 years to life in state prison. Now 42 years old, he is at the California State Substance Abuse Facility and State Prison in Corcoran.
According to stories in The Bee, 14-year-old Donna Roberts was shot to death in the living room of her home on Priscilla Lane in Sacramento after being bound, gagged and blindfolded. Her mother, Kathryn Roberts, 33, was gunned down when she entered the house to find Hines and Houseman.
According to testimony during the trial, Hines went to the Roberts' home with Houseman to steal Bud Roberts' shocking-pink, reconstructed 1923 Model T Ford, an automobile to which he had taken a fancy.
After killing the two women, Hines drove off with Houseman in the pink roadster. The two were arrested the next day at a friend's home on Ascot Avenue where police spotted the car partially under some quilts and cardboard.
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