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The original item was published from 8/1/2013 3:35:59 PM to 8/2/2016 12:05:05 AM.

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Commonwealth's Attorney

Posted on: August 1, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Man Sentenced for 2001 Purcellville Murder

Roy, Robert.jpg

August 1, 2013

Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
(703) 777-0242



LEESBURG, Virginia – July 31, 2013. Robert E. Roy, 49, appeared before the Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on one count of second degree murder. The Hon. Judge James Howe Brown Jr. sentenced Roy to 27 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.

On May 21, 2001, Roy and a co-defendant broke into and entered a residence in Purcellville. Roy and his co-defendant gained entry into the residence by smashing a sliding glass door located at the lower level of the house. Once inside the residence, Roy and his co-defendant removed several pieces of jewelry from the house. One of the home’s occupants, Patrick Hornbaker, was in his bedroom during the break-in and was shot in the face by a handgun. Hornbaker died shortly thereafter from the head wound.

Trace amounts of Roy’s blood and his fingerprints were found in Hornbaker’s home. These samples were compared to samples taken from a 2001 breaking and entering in Frederick County, Virginia and were determined to be a positive match. The identity of Roy was unknown at that time. The murder remained unsolved for several years until 2007 when additional evidence surfaced leading to Roy’s arrest.

Further investigation revealed that Maryland authorities became aware of Roy’s identity in 2002 through DNA, but Maryland law prevented disclosure to Virginia since their use and disclosure of DNA information was restricted to very limited and specific case types.

Roy’s prior criminal history dates back to 1984, spans four states, and includes charges of vandalism, possession with intent to manufacture controlled substances, bad checks, contractor fraud, grand larceny, burglary, aggravated robbery, and receiving stolen property.

In addition to the total active sentence of 27 years, Brown imposed an additional 13 years of suspended time. Upon his release from prison, Roy will be placed on indefinite supervised probation. Should he violate the terms of his supervised probation a portion of or any balance of the suspended time may be imposed by the Court.


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