Ex-Boyfriend Found Guilty In Woman's Brutal Death

Hightower Stabbed Abigail Robertson 60 Times, Shot Her Four Times

It took three years, but the family of a 21-year-old Metro State student who was stabbed 60 times and shot four times with a .22 caliber handgun is finally seeing justice.

The ex-boyfriend of Abigail Robertson was found guilty Tuesday of brutally killing her in her Glendale apartment on Dec. 11, 2007.

Marcus Ariel Hightower, 26, was found guilty of first-degree murder and immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Abigail broke up with Hightower, a former Army soldier and fellow Metro State student, in June 2007. He had been stalking her for the six months leading up to her death, her friends and family said.

"If you would've let time pass you would've gotten over the pain of the end of your relationship with Abigail," the victim's mother, Kathy Robertson, said during sentencing on Wednesday. "Abigail was not yours to take, Marcus. She did not belong to you. She belonged to me and her father."

The trial lasted three weeks, but it took less than three hours of deliberation for the Arapahoe County District Court jury to find him guilty. Throughout the trial, defense attorneys maintained that Hightower was not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury didn't believe it.

The jury's verdict was read Wednesday morning.

Abigail Robertson was killed by her ex-boyfriend in December 2007.

Hightower broke into Abigail's apartment on South Dahlia Circle near East Exposition Avenue in 2007 and walked into her bedroom as she was sitting on the bed talking on the phone with her current boyfriend, Robert Lopez.

Lopez said he could hear Abigail scream "Marcus!" and hear Hightower telling her, "I didn't want it to come to this."

After the murder, Hightower used Abigail's phone, posing as a neighbor, to call police for help and then drove himself to the Aurora Police Department where he turned himself in. Witnesses said Hightower calmly walked into the police station and told police, "I think I did something wrong. I think I may have hurt my girlfriend."

"This is a case about rejection, and revenge," Deputy District Attorney Jacob Edson told the jury during closing arguments. "Marcus Hightower knew exactly what he was doing when he murdered Abigail Robertson."

Sometime after the murder police found a gun, cell phone and knife discarded in a trash can outside of the Aurora Police Department. Binoculars and ammunition were found in a backpack inside of the minivan Hightower had been driving; indicating that he planned the murder and had been stalking Robertson.