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Man Gets Death In Lesbians’ Killing

October 28, 1997

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) _ A former accountant who admitted killing a lesbian couple after they refused to give him money that he wanted to rekindle his relationship with a Las Vegas stripper was sentenced to death on Monday.

Robert Acremant, 29, lured Roxanne Ellis, 53, and Michelle Abdill, 42, to an apartment in December 1995 and tried to force them to write him $50,000 in checks from their property management business.

When they refused, he bound and gagged them with duct tape and forced them to lie in the back of a pickup truck next to boxes containing a Christmas tree and a present for Ellis’ granddaughter. Then he shot each twice in the head.

The slayings sent a shudder through the gay community of southern Oregon. Partners for 12 years, Ellis and Abdill had worked for the defeat of a statewide measure to limit the rights of homosexuals and had cared for AIDS victims.

Acremant pleaded guilty last year to two counts of aggravated murder. The jury took four hours Monday before unanimously sentencing him to death by injection.

The defense hinged on the testimony of a psychologist who testified Acremant’s life, built on hard work and achievement, descended into chaos. Acremant left his accounting job to develop software, but the venture failed. He then began drinking heavily, the defense contended, after being spurned by stripper Alla Kosova.

Two months before the women were shot, Acremant shot Scott George of Visalia, Calif., after a night of drinking in what was supposed to be another robbery. He faces a sentencing trial later for that slaying.

Prosecutors on Monday painted Acremant as an evil and greedy man who assembled guns, silencers, disguises and how-to books in a black duffel bag and was ready to keep on killing as long as he needed money.

``His little death kit was all set up and ready to go,″ prosecutor John Bondurant said.

The defense wanted the jury to sentence him to life in prison without parole.

``Is Mr. Acremant so far beyond redemption that he has to be eliminated from the human community? I think not,″ said Mark Rader. ``Redemption is possible for Mr. Acremant.″

Acremant’s mother turned him in after recognizing a police sketch. Acremant confessed, saying he targeted the women because they were lesbians and he figured they wouldn’t have families that would miss them.

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