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DSA In the News

Man accused of killing wife, robbing banks

Man accused of killing wife, robbing banks

By Michelle Durand

The North Fair Oaks man accused of stabbing his wife to death weeks after being labeled the “Gilligan robber” by local law enforcement will stand trial next summerfor murder and seven counts of bank robbery.


Robert Lomas, 51, has pleaded not guilty to all charges stemming from the May 21 death of his wife and the string of Peninsula bank robberies preceding his arrest. On Tuesday, Lomas was ordered to begin trial June 23.


Yesterday’s court appearance was Lomas’ first since a condition hearing of his friend who the defense worries might succumb to cancer before telling a jury how much Lomas loved his 50-year-old wife, Linda Jackson Lomas.


A conditional exam is similar to calling a witness during trial but held and videotaped ahead of the fact when the person is in danger of death.


Lomas had not even had the chance to enter an initial plea to the crimes before prosecutors brought the case to the criminal grand jury. Its indictment sidestepped a preliminary hearing on the evidence, leaving the defense in need of more time to examine the evidence.


Aside from the murder, Lomas is accused of five individual bank robberies since April 21. Crimes from Newark and Mountain View will be combined into the San Mateo County cases because Lomas brought the money back here, according to the District Attorney’s Office.


Lomas’ bank robberies may have been propelled by a mountain of debt due to his wife’s medical conditions and losing his auto store job following a domestic violence conviction, according to the prosecution.

In early April, Lomas was charged with domestic violence and ultimately sentenced to 15 days jail with the option of serving in the Sheriff’s Work Program.


He was supposed to surrender June 19 and enroll in domestic violence class by May 22.

However, Lomas was reportedly rejected from the class May 21 for lack of funds to pay the roughly $75 fee.

At 9:55 a.m. May 21, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from an unidentified man reporting a woman dead at 2830B Huntington Ave. in the unincorporated area of Redwood City. Reports Lomas himself made the call have not been confirmed.


Lomas remained at large until approximately 9 p.m. when he approached officers near the crime scene and turned himself in. He reportedly first planned to kill himself on the train tracks.  


During his police interview, Lomas reportedly said his wife was unfaithful with a number of men.

He allegedly believed his wife was giving the money he stole to these men.


Early Brewer, the potential defense witness with stage-four cancer, said Lomas loved his wife and nearly fell apart when she was hospitalized for bypass surgery.


Brewer, Lomas’ friend for more than three decades, conceded the couple’s fourth child did not appear to be Lomas’ biological son but was treated as such.


Brewer also said Lomas had given up the “heavy drinking” of his past but in the weeks preceding the murder had resumed. Lomas remains in custody on no-bail status.