Our family stands united in our pursuit of justice for the murder of our beloved Cathy Robertson. While we believe Mark Woodworth should spend his life behind bars for brutally murdering our mother Cathy Robertson and critically assaulting our father Lyndel Robertson in 1990 while they were sleeping in their bed, we are prepared to see a third trial through to conclusion.
The State of Missouri has twice proven, and will prove again through forensic evidence, that Mark Woodworth took his father’s gun from his home and brutally shot our mother and father. The State will again prove that no other person of interest had access to the murder weapon and the bullets used in this crime. The State will again prove that Woodworth’s own incriminating statements support the evidence that proves his guilt.
While we understand the judge is likely to grant a bond today that his family can pay, we have stated our opposition to his release on the record. We have also asked Judge Hull to consider requiring that Mark Woodworth have absolutely no contact, intentional or unintentional, with any member of our family or any witness that may be testifying on the State’s behalf. We also asked that the judge fully consider the State’s request brought forth on the conditions of bond.
Since 1990, our family has lived through a nightmare caused by Mark Woodworth. If seeking justice for the murder of Cathy Robertson takes a third trial and 100 years, we will do what it takes to hold Mark Woodworth accountable for his actions.
1.8.13 ~ Family Statement
While the criminal justice system has failed Cathy Robertson, we as a family will continue to pursue justice on her behalf. Twenty four jurors and more than a dozen Missouri Appellate Court judges believed Mark Woodworth was properly convicted of murder, and so do we.
In 1990, our mother Cathy Robertson was brutally murdered and our father Lyndel was critically injured by Mark Woodworth. In 1995, a jury convicted Woodworth of murder. In 1999, a second jury convicted Woodworth again. We have every confidence that when the evidence is presented to a new jury, they too will convict Mark Woodworth of murder.
In 2012, my family met with Attorney General Christ Koster to discuss this case. At that time, he committed to retry Mark Woodworth for murder in the event Mark Woodworth was granted a new trial. I spoke to his office today, and Mr. Koster stands by his commitment to ensure justice is served on behalf of Cathy Robertson. We are grateful for his courage to see that Mark Woodworth is held accountable for murdering our mother.
It is also important to note that Mark Woodworth was not exonerated in this court opinion.
If the Missouri Supreme Court believed Mark Woodworth was innocent, he would have been exonerated. His sentence was vacated because of an alleged technical error. That is not justice.
Throughout this case, Mark Woodworth has failed to prove anything other than a keen ability to blame and disparage the reputations of every judge, law enforcement officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, juror and Robertson family member associated with this case.
Since 1990, our family has lived through a nightmare caused by Mark Woodworth. We will stand strong and united in the next phase of this tragic situation. We have faith in the Attorney General’s Office and in the future jurors who will again review the evidence against Mark Woodworth.
Robertson Family Statement
We implore the Missouri Supreme Court to uphold the verdict of two juries and multiple Missouri District and Appellate Court Judges who determined Mark Woodworth received justice when he was convicted of murdering our mother Cathy Robertson and critically assaulting our father Lyndel Robertson in 1990 while they were sleeping in their bed.
The Western District Appeals Court got it right when they ruled that Mark Woodworth has presented no new evidence to prove his innocence or to prove his murder conviction was obtained unjustly.
The evidence presented by Woodworth during this process is not new. The state has proven that every issue brought forward was either litigated in one of his two trials or deemed irrelevant during the appellate process. In addition, Woodworth claims specific items were not turned over to the defense that would have demonstrated to the jury that he was innocent. This is false on several levels. Woodworth cannot prove his attorneys were unaware of the letters written by Mr. Robertson. Court transcripts make clear the letters were known to the defense by the judge, and Woodworth cannot prove the letters – even if they were not known by defense counsel - would have proven Woodworth’s innocence.
Woodworth has failed to prove anything other than a keen ability to blame and disparage the reputations of every judge, law enforcement officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, juror and Robertson family member associated with this case.
The two convictions obtained against Woodworth were not obtained on thin evidence, as has been suggested. The jury agreed with the forensic evidence that put the gun in Mark Woodworth’s hand and the bullets in his pocket. Even Woodworth’s own incriminating statements supported the evidence and the jury’s decisions. The 24 men and women from both juries, who saw the evidence first hand and believed beyond a reasonable doubt that Mark was the killer of our mother, had an objective and clear view of the reality of this horrifying situation.
Unfortunately, the truth is a very fluid concept for Mr. Woodworth. We pray the Supreme Court does not to fall for the “distract, accuse and attack” tactic by the Woodworth family that has fooled many of his own supporters.
Since 1990, our family has lived through a nightmare caused by Mark Woodworth. If the Missouri Supreme Court grants twice-convicted murderer Mark Woodworth a third trial and sets this dangerous man free, God help the thousands of victims and their families who can never again have confidence in a conviction, Appellate Court Decision or that justice will be ever truly be served. It’s time to put this nightmare behind us and allow our mother to rest in peace and our family to achieve justice.
August 31, 2012
The State filed their brief to the Missouri Supreme Court outlining why they are opposed to an overturn of the case against Woodworth. To read the very important document, please click below.
August 31, 2012
Rhonda Robertson Oesch wrote a guest commentary for the St. Louis Post Dispatch concerning her mother's murder case. To read the article in full please click on the following link.
We are certainly not surprised with the Special Master’s decision to ignore the State’s case and the evidence against Mark Woodworth. He is willing to grant a twice-convicted murder a third trial, even though he doesn’t claim Woodworth’s actual innocence. Throughout this process, the judge has been determined to serve as a “Super Juror” because he knows better than the 24 jurors who reviewed the evidence and the multiple appellate judges who upheld the conviction.
If the Missouri Supreme Court adopts the Special Master’s opinion, their decision could have a chilling effect on justice. First, a murderer will be set free on a manufactured technicality to potentially await a third trial. Second, Missouri prosecutors will be held accountable for making sure the defense reviews, not just has access to, all the materials presented to them. And, finally this decision could put at risk every jury conviction and every appellate court decision in Missouri, which will make it virtually impossible for a victim’s family to ever trust the finality of a conviction.
We met with Attorney General Christ Koster last week and we are grateful for his courage to see justice prevail, even if that means prosecuting a third trial. Mr. Koster also has shown support for our efforts to expand the Missouri Victim’s Rights Bill. Although well intended, the bill needs revisions to address the type of outrageous situation our family and other victims face today.
Missouri Opposes Judge Oxenhandler's Ruling
The Attorney General filed their exceptions that oppose the Special Master's May 1 opinion of the appeals case. To read the full account please click on the file below.
Woodworth Exceptions Filed by the State
Robertson Family Press Release on the Supreme Court decision denying bail - May 10, 2012
The Robertson family is thrilled that the Missouri Supreme Court denied a twice convicted murderer bail after receiving the Special Master’s opinion, which is nothing more than a piece of judicial activism. We are confident that the 24 men and women from both juries, who saw the evidence first hand and believed beyond a reasonable doubt that Mark was the killer of our mother, had a far more objective and clear view of the reality of this horrifying situation. We have confidence that the Attorney General Chris Koster will fight this matter aggressively to the Supreme Court on behalf of all violent crime victims throughout the State of Missouri.
Robertson Family Statement - May 1, 2012
We are saddened and shocked by the opinion of the Special Master. We are also disapointed that we had to learn about his opinion through the media, after we had requested we be informed before the findings were released.
We trusted this process would be fair and impartial, and unfortunately, the process failed us and all victims of violence by ignoring the facts and the truth. This opinion ignores the overwhelming evidence presented in the second trial in which a jury of 12 citizens found Mark Woodworth guilty of murdering our mother. We fear this opinion is judicial activism at its worst.
If you read carefully, the document by the Special Master never states that Mark is innocent. It claims that the process was unfair, which is a very different argument. We believe that the Missouri Supreme Court will review the evidence that was used to convict Mark Woodworth - twice - and use that to make an informed decision about the future.
Unfortunately, the Special Master has fallen prey to the diversion tactic used by the defense. They have created a conspiracy theory that is so ridiculous, we know the Missouri Supreme Court members will see through this mirage and make a decision based upon the facts and the truth.
The facts remain uncontested:
- Two separate juries found Mark guilty of murder.
- -Only three people had access to the murder weapon: Mr. Woodworth, Mrs. Woodworth and Mark Woodworth.
- - Mark’s fingerprints were found on the box of shell casings.
- - Mark lied to investigators about his access to the shed and his whereabouts over and over again.
- -Mark lied about his knowledge of the business partner difficulties.
- -Mark gave conflicting stories about using his father’s gun (the murder weapon).
- - Mark acknowledged that he shot Mrs. Robertson during an interrogation.
- - Mark had motive to kill our mother.
If a new trial is granted, we will continue to stand united for justice for Cathy Robertson.