Real Name: Robert Xavier James
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Hesperia, California
Date: August 1, 1997
Details: Robert James was the two-year-old son of Travis and Wendy James and brother of six-year-old Surisa. The Jameses had just moved into a new apartment on August 1, 1997, in Hesperia, California, when they had to make one more trip across town. That night, they were returning to their new home. The traffic was heavy and the driver in front of them was moving slowly. As Travis tried to pull around him, a dark blue Camaro cut him off. He again tried to change lanes, but the Camaro refused to let him pass the other driver. A game of cat-and-mouse began; when Travis tried to speed up, the Camaro would do so and then slow down. Its driver seemed to anticipate Travis' moves, blocking him at every turn.
Finally, Travis opted for an illegal shortcut: he swung into the left turn lane, hoping to pass the Camaro from there. As both cars sped up, a passenger in the Camaro stuck himself out the window and began firing at the Jameses. Travis pulled off the side of the road; when they looked back to check on the kids, they realized that Robert was not moving. Tragically, he was killed instantly from a gunshot wound while sitting in his car seat; his only protection was his teddy bear.
Police began an immediate investigation to find his killer; unfortunately, road rage crimes are particularly difficult to solve. Since so many people are moving during the time that the crime is taking place, most do not even realize that the crime is happening. However, in Robert's case, a witness was able to give police a description of the Camaro and its driver.
Suspects: The suspects were driving a blue Chevrolet Camaro with a light strip on the bottom and louvre windows on the back. The killer was a Caucasian or Hispanic male, in his late teens or early twenties with short dark hair. He wore a white T-shirt with some color on the front. He is depicted in the composite below.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 29, 1998 episode, along with another road rage incident, the death of Richard Aderson.
Results: Solved. In August of 1998, based on the description of the Camaro's driver, some detective work, and an anonymous tip, authorities identified Robert's killer as Alvie Utah Williams of Hesperia, California. Williams is an alleged neo-Nazi with an extensive criminal history. Authorities eventually located the driver and other passenger of the Camaro, and they agreed to testify against Williams in exchange for immunity.
In 2003, Williams was convicted of murder and is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. However, in 2005, his conviction was overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct, and in 2007 he was given a second trial. However, the results have yet to be revealed.
- Robert James on Unsolved Archive
- Hunt Continues for 2 Men in Slaying of Boy
- More witnesses sought in drive-by shooting of child
- Family struggles with loss
- Sketch released of shooting suspect
- Man charged in toddler's death
- Appellate court overturns man's murder conviction
- Second trial for '97 road rage killing
- Recusal denied in Alvie Williams murder case