The North Fair Oaks man who earned the nickname Gilligan by allegedly robbing a string of Peninsula banks while wearing a floppy fisherman’s hat before murdering his wife on the day he was scheduled to enroll in court-ordered domestic violence classes will stand trial in June.
Robert Lomas, 51, appeared in court for a pretrial conference Monday and opted for trial on one count of murder and seven counts of bank robbery rather than settling the case. Details of the plea offer were not released.
Lomas’ trial comes just more than one year after he was arrested for the May 21 death of Linda Jackson Lomas, 50, and linked to five bank robberies dating back to 2002.
The prosecution theorizes the 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.
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 approximate $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 that 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.
The Lomas marriage was further scrutinized during a hearing to preserve the testimony of a potential defense witness with cancer. Early Brewer, speaking before a video camera, said Lomas loved his wife and nearly fell apart when she was hospitalized for bypass surgery.
However, he said the couple’s fourth child did not appear to be Lomas’ biological son and Lomas resumed heavy drinking in the weeks preceding the murder.
Lomas remains in custody on no-bail status.