Virginia Beach man accused of stealing from dying friend is sentenced to five months

Posted at 2:45 PM, Apr 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-29 17:46:52-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - The man arrested for threatening a witness in a theft case pleaded guilty in Virginia Beach today and was sentenced to five months.

Erin Robertson, who has been the subject of an ongoing NewsChannel 3 investigation, was handcuffed right in front of NewsChannel 3's cameras in February after prosecutors accused him of threatening to kill his father.

His father is one of the state's witnesses against him in a theft case.

Robertson is accused of taking advantage of a tragedy to steal an expensive camera after his friend, Chris Pardee, was hurt in a car crash.

As Pardee was dying in the hospital, Robertson was recorded on video trying to pawn his friend's camera.

Pardee's mother, Diane, told NewsChannel 3 she'd given Robertson the security code to her house, so he could fetch her a bible while she prayed at her son's hospital bed. And while in the hospital, she found out Robertson was trying to sell the expensive camera and all its accessories. That betrayal, she told us recently, made losing her son even more painful.

"He looked me in the eye and swore how much he cared for Chris, and how much of a good friend he was to Chris and what Chris meant to him, says Diane Pardee.

Prior to his arrest in February, Robertson was set to plead guilty, but backed out.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday and was sentenced to five months.

The underage driver of the vehicle involved in the crash, who had been drinking, was charged for possessing alcohol, but she won't have a conviction on her record if she stays out of trouble. Police ruled the death an accident, saying Pardee was goofing around and fell out of the car. His mother doesn't buy it. She believes something else happened -- something more sinister -- in part because of Robertson's lies.

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