Investigation Discovery’s ‘Death by Fame: Life Imitates Art’ follows the story of 36-year-old Lloyd Avery, once a well-known face in Hollywood, serving a life sentence for committing a double murder. He was killed in prison by his cellmate, Kevin Roby, in September 2005 over some spiritual and ritual differences. The brutality of the crime shocked everyone, and if you’re interested to know more about this case, we’ve your back. Let’s dive in then, shall we?
Who Is Kevin Roby?
On January 31, 1987, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were called to West 37th Street in Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California. They questioned Kevin Gerald Roby, an Air Force Academy drop-out, about the recent abduction of his sister, Velmalin Hill, of which he claimed to be an eye witness. According to news reports, Kevin alleged three individuals, dressed as Japanese Ninja warriors, had kidnapped Velmalin from the residence.
Kevin could provide very little information regarding the kidnappers, and the officers requested him to walk them through the crime scene again. Following his narration, the police located Velmalin’s body, covered with dog food, in a large trash can. According to the autopsy report, she had been sexually assaulted twice, sodomized, and then choked to death. The detectives found Kevin’s testimony suspicious, and he was arrested and charged with murder.
Local news reports state Kevin was convicted on one count each of murder, sodomy, and two counts of rape in a non-jury trial in May 1988. The additional rape charge came after he was found guilty of raping another of his sisters. Kevin was 23 years old when the court sentenced him to life without the chance of parole. Given the gravity of his crimes and life sentence without parole/release, Kevin was transferred to Pelican Bay, a supermax prison facility in Crescent City, California, when it was inaugurated in December 1989.
Kevin was among the 40% of the inmate population of Prison Bay who was serving life sentences for severe offenses of varying degrees. According to reports, he became interested in Satanism and devil-worshipping rituals while incarcerated. These beliefs influenced him to a great extent, and he started calling himself a Satanic Christ. He even let go of whatever religious beliefs he might have held before.
Where is Kevin Roby Now?
Kevin began sharing his cell with Lloyd Avery in August 2005. Convicted in a double homicide, Lloyd had found salvation in Dennis Clark’s congregation while in prison and used to carry the Bible around with him. According to a letter dated August 29, 2005, Lloyd had taken it upon himself to bring Kevin on the righteous path of God. Kevin claimed in a later interview that Lloyd tried to persuade him to convert to Christianity, resulting in multiple fights.
In his 2020 interview, Kevin alleged, “He was pushing his agenda to convert me to Christianity, which led to us fighting.” On September 4, 2005, the dispute became so violent that he ended up murdering his 36-year-old cellmate. He choked him, which resulted in him bleeding into his lungs. He hid the corpse under bed covers, fooling the correctional officers for more than a day. He claimed in his interview that he ate double rations, wrote a letter to one of Lloyd’s pen pals, and “tied a string around Llyod’s arm and tugged his limbs like a marionette to fool” the prison officials.
On September 5, Kevin positioned Lloyd’s corpse onto a pentagram he had drawn on the floor of their prison cell. He painted the walls with Lloyd’s blood, claiming it was “part of a Satanic ritual that Roby intended as a warning to God.” Kevin said in the 2020 interview, “He is next on the agenda once I accomplish what I want to accomplish in this realm.” The correctional officers caught Kevin while performing his so-called ritual and handcuffed him. They also rushed Lloyd’s body to the infirmary, where he was declared dead at 12:10 pm.
The family wanted local authorities to file charges against Kevin, but the Del Notre County district attorney refused. He cited that since Kevin had confessed to both crimes, he was not eligible for the death penalty. As he was already serving a life sentence, another trial would be redundant but be costly for the authorities. The State Attorney General also sided with the District Attorney, and no trial was held for Kevin. The 58-year-old continues to serve his sentence at the California Institution for Men in Chino in San Bernardino County, California.
Read More: Lloyd Avery: Who Were His Victims? How Did He Die?