Jury No. 2 adds 5 years to murder sentence
In the summer of 2014, Kelvin Lee Roy left the Orange County Courthouse to serve 75 years in state prison for the murder of a 16-year-old Vidor girl.
The Beaumont man’s attempt to secure a lesser punishment failed on Thursday when a new jury sentenced him to 80 years for the same crime.
Alexandria Bertrand was killed when a vehicle Roy was driving “sheared” the right side of the family’s Honda minivan the night of Feb. 7, 2014. Roy “mashed on the gas” and jumped the railroad tracks at Main Street and Old U.S. 90 in Vidor, court testimony showed, crashing into the passenger side where Bertrand had been sitting next to her mother, April.
“I hope you remember (Lexy) every day as you spend your 80 years, as you live and breathe, which Lexy can’t do anymore,” April Bertrand said in her victim impact statement.
A blood sample taken immediately after the incident showed that Roy had marijuana, PCP and alcohol in his system.
April Bertrand said the family was “elated” with Roy’s first guilty verdict and 75-year sentence in late August 2014. His case returned to court this week after a higher court overturned the conviction on the grounds that the trial judge should have instructed the jury to consider a lesser charge of intoxication manslaughter in addition to murder.
The retrial has “put our family through hell,” Bertrand said in her statement.
Bertrand said she thanked God, the community, Assistant District Attorney Krispen Walker and the court for “not once, but twice” finding Roy guilty of murder, and, this time, with a harsher sentence “that he deserves.”
“How can I ask you to put a number on the life of a 16-year-old who held such promise, such lofty dreams?” Walker asked the jury that morning.
“I’m not going to ask you to put a number. I’m asking you to give this defendant exactly what he took from Lexy and that was her life.”
The eight-man, four-woman jury sentenced Roy to 80 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He will be eligible for parole consideration after 30 years.
Chase Bertrand, one of Lexy’s three younger brothers, said in his victim impact statement that he “would spend my life in prison to have five minutes with my sister.”
Walker called the extra five years added to Roy’s prison time “an exclamation mark.” She and Bertrand said they believed justice was served.
Defense attorney Ryan Gertz said he was “disappointed with the outcome” but nevertheless respects the jury’s decision given the “gruesome set of facts.”
Gertz said he and Roy will “discuss appeal options.”
The Bertrand family will “continue to move forward and get the closure we need,” April Bertrand said, including connecting with the four individuals who received Lexy’s organs, including her heart, after she died.
“Pieces of my daughter are living in them,” April Bertrand said.