Officer Robert “Bobby” Lozano
Robert “Bobby” Lozano murdered his wife, Viki, with his service pistol on July 6, 2002, a jury decided Friday afternoon after five hours of deliberation.
Lozano, 44, remained perfectly still after the guilty announcement came at about 4 p.m., but his current wife, Renee Lozano, sobbed with her head in her hands as other family members tried to comfort her. Most of them cried as well.
Bobby Lozano walked over and spoke to her for a moment before he was led to a jail cell and she was assisted, sobbing, out of the courtroom.
The penalty phase of the trial will begin at 9 a.m. Monday in the 362nd District courtroom of Judge Bruce McFarling.
Virginia “Viki” Lozano was 36 when her husband of 16 years called 911 and said he had found his wife sitting slumped over on their bed with a gunshot wound and he did not believe she was breathing. Their 11-month-old son was asleep in another room and her mother, Anna Farish, was in Plano giving piano lessons.
Farish testified for her son-in-law, saying he had turned a chubby girl into a trim woman and they were a happy couple.
Farish was not in the courtroom Friday, but her son, David Farish, sat on the front row without talking to anyone during the trial and was there for the verdict.
The courtroom has been jammed to capacity all during the two-week trial, and it didn’t empty after jurors began their deliberations. Family, friends and strangers sat out the five hours, talking, joking, playing games on their mobile phones, reading, knitting and sneaking sips of bottled water and soft drinks not allowed in the courtroom.
Jurors declined the option of finding Bobby Lozano guilty of manslaughter or negligent homicide that was part of the charge they were given to guide them in deliberations.
Prosecutor Susan Piel spoke first in final arguments. She told the jury that Lozano’s statement to the Texas Rangers was a series of lies designed to cover up some of the things police found that concerned them. His 18-month affair with fellow Denton police Detective Cindy Waters went bad that June because he didn’t keep his promises to her to leave his wife. After he broke many deadlines to leave, Waters discovered he had told her a huge lie about his whereabouts when he was supposed to be spending a weekend with her, Piel said. Waters learned that instead he took a trip with his wife and mother-in-law, and she said it was over.
“He liked his player lifestyle,” Piel said. “He liked his wife’s money.”
Lozano lied, Piel said, when he said he and his wife fell asleep together the night prior to her death, which was their 16th wedding anniversary. He didn’t go to sleep, Piel said; he slipped out to see Waters and stayed for two hours.
But while Lozano was typing his statement at the Texas Rangers’ office, Waters was in Denton police Lt. Lee Howell’s office “singing like a bird,” Piel said. Waters told Howell about the affair and that Lozano was supposed to be leaving his wife. So Lozano wrote a short supplement to his statement admitting the affair.
Piel said Lozano’s glowing account of his and Viki’s day together was all lies. He said both his wife and their baby were sickly, yet he claimed they went to the park and had a beautiful time playing on the swings, Piel said. He told of putting the baby down for a nap later and steam-cleaning the bedroom carpet.
“He cleaned that room at some point that night,” she said. “But not that early.”
The story about his beginning to clean his gun and then deciding to wait to finish it until he returned from a tanning salon was a cover-up to hide the time of his wife’s death, Piel said.
“I need to stop and leave all this stuff on the bed because I had an emergency tanning session, because I have not tanned since yesterday,” Piel mocked. “He had just shot his wife and he needed an alibi.”
Lozano lied about crying out to his dead wife not to leave him, Piel told the jury. That was not heard on the 911 tape, she said. He lied about Viki Lozano being ill after the baby was born and him having to care for the baby for months. He lied about performing CPR.
“He is selfish,” Piel said. “He is a liar. He is a master manipulator.”
Defense attorney Sarah Roland spoke briefly to the jury before lead attorney Rick Hagen took over, and attempted to make a case that Viki Lozano’s death was a suicide. Roland said that Viki Lozano may have appeared happy to her fellow schoolteachers, but it was obvious she was miserable.
“I don’t get it,” Roland said. “Why would Viki stay with him? Why would Cindy stay with him? I don’t know.”
Roland said her client thought he was “God’s gift to women,” and was able to sweet-talk them into forgiving him for the lies they caught him in.
“Why would anyone with any self-respect stay?” she asked, implying that Viki Lozano killed herself because of her unhappiness and poor self-image.
Hagen talked about the medical examiner’s ruling of the death being “undetermined” and said the police and prosecutors were angry with Dr. Gary Sisler for not ruling the death a homicide. He pointed out that prosecutor Cary Piel called the doctor “Pops.”
“Because he did not agree with them, they have to disrespect him,” Hagen said.
Hagen said that a case of murder could be made but not proved beyond a reasonable doubt, which was the state’s burden.
“You can think it,” he said. “You can believe it. You can be clearly convinced that it’s true. But they have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Hagen touched on a shell casing found at the scene, and the reports of police and firefighters concerning it. All of the police now testify they found the shell casing under the gun-cleaning kit, he said. But not one of them documented that in their reports that night.
“You are required to presume that Bobby Lozano is innocent despite the fact that you hate him,” Hagen said. “You must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not suicide and not an accident.”
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