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TPWD News Release — Feb. 8, 2011

Two Indictments Returned in 2002 Lake Buchanan Boating Death

BURNET – A Burnet County grand jury has indicted Travis Aaron Marburger on one count of manslaughter and one count of tampering with evidence in the 2002 boating death of Justin Wayne Roberts.

The indictment, returned Tuesday in 33rd State District Court, stems from the Dec. 8, 2010, recovery of a 1977 fiberglass Checkmate boat that had been buried on Marburger’s property north of Bertram. The 16-foot boat matched the description of the vessel believed to have struck the boat occupied by Roberts and two others on May 3, 2002.

After the collision, the operator of the boat that struck Roberts’ vessel left the scene without offering assistance or calling for help. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens investigated the crash and identified the type of boat they believed to have fled the scene but had not been able to locate it. 

The case had remained unsolved until late last year, when a tip to the TPWD’s Operation Game Thief toll-free phone number triggered the investigation that resulted in the 36-year-old Marburger’s arrest and the excavation of the boat soon afterward.

Marburger has been free on $100,000 bond. Bond for the tampering with evidence indictment was set at $1,000.

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony publishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Tampering with evidence is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment from two to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.