The Oregon supreme court on Thursday upheld the murder convictions and death sentence of Robert Acremant, who admitted killing a lesbian couple in 1995 for money prosecutors say he wanted to use to rekindle a relationship with a Las Vegas stripper. Acremant pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, kidnapping, and robbery in the December 4, 1995, slayings of Roxanne Ellis, 53, and Michelle Abdill, 42, after they refused to give him money from their property management business.
Prosecutors said Acremant killed the women in a desperate attempt to rob them of money he wanted to spend on a stripper whom he called his girlfriend. Acremant made conflicting statements about why he killed the women. He told police at one point that, while he did not like lesbians, he killed the women
for money. The murders alarmed the gay community because Ellis and Abdill had worked on the campaign that defeated a statewide measure to limit the rights of gay people.
Acremant wrote a letter to his hometown newspaper, The Record of Stockton, Calif., several weeks before he pleaded guilty to the murders, saying that he killed the women out of hate for gays. He said he invented the robbery motive because he was nervous about how other jail inmates would react "in that, they were hate crimes against bi- and homosexuals." "Now I just don't care what people think, including the jury," the letter said. "They can kill me for all I care. I've never liked life anyway." A prosecutor said he believed Acremant was "grandstanding" and "publicity hungry." (AP)