The case of

Roberto C. Villegas

Victim

Roberto C. Villegas

Victim Race

Hispanic

Victim Date of Birth

1959

Victim Age

38

Date Reported

1997-09-07

Date of Death

1997-09-07

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia, USA

Body Location

Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia, USA

Date of Conviction

1998-05-13

Body Discovered Date

1997-09-07

Murderer

Susan Cummings

Who Was Roberto Villegas?

Roberto C. Villegas was born in Argentina in 1959. There is little information available on his childhood and upbringing but it is known that he emigrated to the US in 1991. He was a talented polo player and it was common in those days for wealthy landowners to recruit these polo players onto teams. In exchange, the player would be given accommodation and horses.

Roberto met Susan Cummings in 1995, when she took up polo, and the relationship became quite serious and intense very quickly. For example, Roberto was due to compete in the 1996 polo season but didn’t return to Florida, opting to help Susan on her family farm instead. Susan didn’t pay him for the work he did but she did provide him with horses and she paid his rent. Because of this, there was a financial imbalance in the relationship and Susan had a lot of power over Roberto.

By 1997, their relationship was strained and the cracks were beginning to show.

Victim Was Found Dead/Start of The Crime

Susan Cummings called 911 on the morning of Sunday, September 1997, and told the dispatcher that her boyfriend had become abusive towards her, threatening her with a knife, and she’d shot him four times in self defense.

Roberto Villegas was found dead in the kitchen of the mansion Susan shared with her twin sister.

The Crime Description

On the day that he died, Roberto was due to play in a polo tournament representing Argentina. He left his apartment and headed to Susan’s farm which is where he kept his polo gear.

Susan Cummings claimed that Roberto had lunged at her with a knife, threatening her. She shot him four times before calling 911 to report the murder.

Suspect or Convicted Killer Details

Susan Cummings and her twin sister, Diana, were born July 21, 1962, in Monte Carlo, Monaco. They were the only children of former CIA agent turned billionaire arms dealer Samuel Cummings. When the family moved to America, Samuel bought his daughter Ashland Farms, a lavish estate in Virginia. This was the home in which Susan shot and killed Roberto.

Growing up, Susan became a well known Virginia socialite, attending the best and most lavish parties in high society. Despite this, Susan was actually quite shy and she was devoted to her horses. She actually didn’t enjoy partying at all.

Susan didn’t have a history of crime at the time she killed Roberto but this could have been because of her status and wealth, a record just wasn’t kept.

In 2004, Susan and her sister sold Ashland Farms and moved to LeBaron Farm in Culpeper County, Virginia.

Investigation Details

When police arrived at Ashland Farms, they found Roberto dead in the kitchen. Susan said that he’d lunged at her with a knife and had threatened her. Roberto was found with a knife and Susan did have cuts to her arms.

However, upon further investigation, the knife was clear of blood and suspiciously clean. The cuts Susan had also appeared to be self-inflicted.

Because of this, police arrested Susan Cummings on charges of homicide.

Trial

Susan was represented by Blair Howard, a lawyer who claimed to be one of the top 10 best in the country. Witnesses did testify that Roberto was abusive towards Susan, claiming that they’d seen him punch, hit and verbally abuse her in public. Susan’s nature also played a huge part in her defense. Her lawyer said that she was a shy, horse-loving woman who wasn’t capable of cold-blooded murder.

But the prosecution said that the murder had to be premeditated. Forensic evidence showed that Roberto was sitting at the kitchen table when he was shot, not lunging at Susan as she claimed. The knife was also clean and the cuts were almost certainly self-inflicted. However, they failed to provide a motive for the murder.

Verdict

The jury found Susan Cummings guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced her to 60 days in jail plus a $2500 fine.

She was released after 57 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Susan Cummings still alive?

Yes, Susan Cummings is still alive but she keeps a low profile. Not a lot is known about her life today.

Where does Susan Cummings live now?

Susan shared LeBaron Farm in Culpeper County with her fraternal twin sister, Diana Cummings

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